By Noy Shani @NoyShani @TLE_Sport
A 28-year-old Table Tennis player has won third place in his first national para competition earlier this month.
Sweden-born Martin Polash bagged the bronze medal in the Open Table Tennis Championship, part of the BATTAD Grand Prix series in the Waterside Table Tennis Centre in Southampton.
Professional salesman Polash, who is classified as grade 7 in terms of his disability, as set by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), was born with diminished movement capacity in his right hand and right leg.
The tournament, which also saw him playing against Team GB’s Paralympian David Wetherill, was Polash’s debut in para competitions.
“I was one of the best youth players back in Sweden, but then I didn’t play for a while afterwards,” said Polash. “Recently I was introduced to para tournaments by another disability player and coach, Philip Sangchin. It is a great achievement for me. Some of the coaches and players told me I should also compete internationally.”
Great Britain is one of the leading Paralympic Table Tennis nations and competition for places is tough, according to Polash.
He is now considering representing his home country, Sweden, in international para tournaments and has already made contact checking the matter.
“It will be very difficult to play for Great Britain – there’s too much competition and I pride myself on being Swedish. Even though it is a long shot I believe anything is possible.”
Noy is a freelance sport writer and journalist. For more information visit www.noyshani.com/ and follow him on twitter @NoyShani