Ireland’s Colin Judge defied expectations and a poor start to leave Lasko in Slovenia as the newly crowned European Mens Singles Class 2 Para Table Tennis Champion.
Colin claimed the European title on Saturday evening after overcoming the No. 3 seed, Rafal Czuper, from Poland by 11-3, 11-7, 3-11, 11-8 to cap off a remarkable tournament for the unseeded star.
It was far from straight forward for Judge who had to recover from the disappointment of losing his first group match in the tournament to Boris Stoiljkovic (Serbia) as he went down 2-11, 11-9, 13-11, 6-11, 11-8. However, the 22 year old UCD man rallied to win his remaining two group matches including a crunch victory over the no.5 seed, Stéphane Molliens (France) to secure his passage from his group in top spot.
Judge maintained his form as he accounted for Rasul Nazirov (Russia) and, perhaps most impressively, he defeated Jan Riapos (Slovakia) the London 2012 gold medallist and no. 3 seed in straight sets to guarantee himself a medal. Another mightily impressive semi final victory over Martin Ludrovsky (Slovakia) saw Colin progress to the final where he would prove to be too good for Czuper.
Colin’s great win is the latest of a memorable 2017 as he adds the European title to the Spanish and German Open Championships he had already claimed earlier this season. Colin’s attentions now turn to the World’s in 2018.
Ireland had 2 competitors at the European Championships where he was joined by fellow UCD member, Tom Davis. Tom competed in the Class 10 singles where he gave a good account of himself in a very tough group.