Taiwan bags first medal at Tokyo Paralympics

08/28/2021 04:06 PM
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Tien Shiau-wen (left) plays against Bruna Costa Alexandre of Brazil in the semifinals. Photo courtesy of the Sports Administration
Tien Shiau-wen (left) plays against Bruna Costa Alexandre of Brazil in the semifinals. Photo courtesy of the Sports Administration

Taipei, Aug. 28 (CNA) Taiwanese table tennis player Tien Shiau-wen (田曉雯) has won the country's first medal at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, a bronze in the women's class 10 event Saturday.

The 21-year-old first-time Paralympian began the day with a 3-1 victory against Merve Cansu Demir of Turkey in the quarterfinals to reach the semifinals, where she met the bronze medalist at Rio 2016, Bruna Costa Alexandre of Brazil.

Tien won the first game 14-12, but Costa Alexandre came back to clinch the following three games 11-6, 12-10, 11-7 to won the match, securing herself a place in the gold medal match scheduled for Monday.

Tien's coach Tsai Kuei-lan (蔡貴蘭) said Friday that Tien already exceeded expectations when she won all three of her group matches, and she never showed the stage fright 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.

She will next compete in the women's class 9-10 team event with her teammate Lin Tzu-yu (林姿妤), which is scheduled to begin on Sept. 1.

Class 6-10 are standing classes in table tennis at the Paralympics, while class 1-5 are sitting classes for players in a wheelchair.

Taiwanese table tennis player Tien Shiau-wen (left) and her coach Tsai Kuei-lan. Photo courtesy of the Sports Administration
Taiwanese table tennis player Tien Shiau-wen (left) and her coach Tsai Kuei-lan. Photo courtesy of the Sports Administration

Taiwan sent a team of 10 athletes to the Tokyo Paralympic Games, and several of them have finished their competition, including six-time Paralympian, 45-year-old powerlifter Lin Ya-hsuan (林亞璇), who finished seventh in the women's -61kg weight class Saturday.

Also on Saturday, 30-year-old Liu Ya-ting (劉雅婷) finished the women's standing javelin throw final in sixth place with a distance of 32.44 meters, her best of the season.

In addition to the women's table tennis team event, 18-year-old swimmer Chen Liang-da (陳亮達) will race on Sunday and Monday.

When the badminton matches begin on Sept. 1, 22-year-old Fang Jen-yu (方振宇) will compete in the men's singles SU5 event for athletes who can stand but have an upper limb impairment.

(By Lung Po-an and Kay Liu)

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