The 2018 US Open Para Table Tennis Championships ended yesterday seeing more than 150 athletes compete in 11 classes over 3 days in Las Vegas Nevada, USA.
Canada had a good showing under the direction of National Para Team coach John MacPherson capturing 4 medals along the way. Nova Scotia’s Mike Drozdowski won bronze in class 11 ( athletes who are mentally challenged) ; Stephanie Chan from Vancouver also captured bronze in an event that had athletes 2 classes less disabled than herself competing; a third bronze went to Vancouver’s Peter Isherwood and his partner from Japan in class 2 team.
The 4th medal went to veteran Ian Kent of Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia in class 8 singles. While most of the world was thinking the 7 time Para Pan American double medalist had retired, Kent beat all opposition to win Gold coming back from a 2 game deficit in the final to win 11-6 in the fifth game over Diego of Columbia. Kent is 57 on the 4th of July playing against opposition less than half his age! Coach MacPherson first words to Ian: “Welcome back!!!” to the winners circle. When asked about the formidable win, he had this to say: ” My life has been good the past 14 months having lost over 60 pounds thanks to a diligent regime of cycling, stretching and weights combined with on table training with my son and main training partner, Tyler Kent, but the kicker is the emotional support and nutrition changes I have made compliments to my fiance Kelly Thompson. She really is the inspiration for pushing for gold at the up coming 2019 Para Pan American Games in Lima, Peru which if I am to win, I have more work to do!” This state of mind along with his happiness will feed his journey to gold, says Coach MacPherson. “Ian is driven and very smart on the table. He really is back and despite his age he is playing some of the best table tennis of his life”, says MacPherson.
What’s next for Ian Kent? Well, some well earned R&R with his fiance where there is sand, sun and ocean. After that he will be back at it. Ian Kent is back and motivated more than ever, a scary thought for his North and South American opposition!
For complete results visit www.ipttc.org