Paralympic Table Tennis: Tapper vs. Partyka for Gold in Tokyo

Experienced Paralympians Seek Table Tennis Glory in Tokyo

As the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics approaches, seasoned table tennis stars Melissa Tapper of Australia and Natalia Partyka of Poland are set to battle it out for the coveted gold medal in the women’s singles C-10 class.

Tapper and Partyka are part of an elite group of just 15 athletes who have competed at both the Olympics and Paralympics. Tapper, who recently wrapped up her second Olympic campaign, is eager to shift her focus to the Paralympic stage.

“My big goal has always been to perform at the Paralympics,” she said. “I was pretty fortunate to qualify for the Olympics, but realistically I was able to use that to get a feel for the balls and see how I was playing. I’m excited to now get out there and play.”

Partyka, a five-time singles gold medalist, will be looking to defend her team C9-10 title while fending off a determined Tapper.

“Everyone expects me to win easily, but it’s not that easy anymore because players are better and better and I’m older and older,” Partyka acknowledged. “Tapper has really improved a lot and she can play very well. I really wish she is going to win a medal, but not gold, you know. Just kidding. If she’s going to be better than me, then it’s OK.”

The table tennis competition at the Tokyo Paralympics will feature 31 medal events across 11 classes based on the impact of impairment on performance. Defending champion Will Bayley of Britain, who won gold in the men’s singles class C7 at Rio 2016, will be among the athletes looking to retain their titles.

The table tennis events are scheduled to run from August 25 to September 3, providing an exciting showcase of the sport’s top Paralympic talent.

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