Earlier today, table tennis’s women class 1-2 pre-selections for the 2016 Summer Paralympics were announced by the ITTF. Selected table table tennis players include Catia Christina Da Silva Oliveira, Su Yeon Seo, Nadejda Pushpasheva, Jing Liu, Dorota Buclaw, Isabelle Lafaye, Chilchitraryak Bootwansirina, Rena McCarron Rooney, Giada Rossi, Clara Podda, and Geneviève Clot.
Poland’s Buclaw should be making her return to the Paralympic Games. She went out during Group play at the 2012 Summer Paralympics after losing to eventual fourth place finisher Russia’s Nadezda Pushpasheva.
France’s Lafaye is scheduled to continue her Paralympic Games participation streak, having participated in every Games since 1996. She won gold in this event at those Games. In 2000, she lost the gold medal match to Jordan’s Maha Al-Bargouti and finished with a silver medal. At the 2004 Games, she defeated fellow French competitor Clot to claim gold, and then picked up a second gold in the Women’s team – Class 1–3 event. In 2008, she lost out on bronze to Italy’s Podda. In the Women’s team – Class 1–3 event, she won bronze after her team defeated Great Britain. She will go to Rio as the reigning bronze medalists in her event.
Ireland’s McCarron Rooney is another returning Paralympian, having represented her country at the London hosted 2012 Games. She failed to make it out of the group stage, which included France’s Lafaye. In the team competition, Ireland went out in the quarterfinals after losing to eventual silver medalists South Korea.
France’s Clot missed the French team for the 2012 Summer Paralympics but has been part of successful French teams in the past. She was part of the gold medal winning French team at the 2004 Games, where she also picked up a silver in the individual event.
Italy’s Podda competed at the 1996 Summer Paralympics in swimming, but made the switch to table tennis in time for the 2000 Games. She has made every games since in the sport. At the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, she won silver in the team event and bronze in the individual event. She has a few world championship medals under her belt, including silver in the team event at the 2010 Gwangju World Championships and bronze in the individual event at the 2006 Montreux World Championships. Competing at the 2008 Games, she failed to make it out of the group stage, finishing behind Italy’s Podda.
Class 1 is a sitting para-table tennis classification. It is for players with the highest level of impairment who compete in the sport.