Taiwanese table tennis player yesterday Tien Shiau-wen won the nation’s first medal at the Tokyo Paralympic Games: a bronze in the women’s singles class 10 event.
The 21-year-old first-time Paralympian began the day with a 3-1 victory against Merve Cansu Demir of Turkey in the quarter-finals.
In the semi-finals, she met the bronze medalist at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Bruna Costa Alexandre of Brazil.
Photo courtesy of the Kaoshiung Sports Development Bureau
Tien won the first game 14-12, but Costa Alexandre came back to clinch the following three games 11-6, 12-10 and 11-7, winning the match and securing herself a place in the gold medal match scheduled for tomorrow.
Tien’s coach, Tsai Kuei-lan, on Friday said that Tien exceeded expectations when she won all three of her group matches, and she never showed the stage fright that many athletes experience when competing in their first major event.
Tien was the only one of the four Taiwanese table tennis players to reach a medal match at the Tokyo Games, after three others were eliminated on Friday.
From Wednesday, she is to compete in the women’s class 9-10 team event with Lin Tzu-yu.
Class 6-10 are standing classes in table tennis at the Paralympics, while class 1-5 are sitting classes for players in wheelchairs.
Taiwan sent of 10 athletes to the Tokyo Paralympics and several of them have finished competition, including a six-time Paralympian, 45-year-old powerlifter Lin Ya-hsuan, who finished seventh in the women’s under-61kg weight class.
Also yesterday, 30-year-old Liu Ya-ting finished sixth in the women’s standing javelin final with a distance of 32.44m, her best of the season.
In swimming, 19-year-old Chen Liang-da is to race today and tomorrow.
With badminton matches to begin on Wednesday, 22-year-old Fang Jen-yu is to compete in the men’s singles SU5 event for athletes who can stand, but have an upper limb impairment.
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