Great Britain strike gold at 2019 International Blind Tennis Tournament
• 3 MINUTE READ
It was celebrations all round at the 2019 International Blind Tennis Tournament in Benidorm last week as Great Britain walked away as the highest medalling country out of the 15 nations competing. Managed by the LTA, the eight-strong British squad finished the challenging four-day tournament on a high, winning an astonishing three golds, two silver and two bronze medals between them.
Taking place from 12 – 16 June, the tournament saw over 70 players from 15 different countries competing to be crowned champion of their division. Taking to the court across four different sight categories – B1 (blind) to B4 (partially sighted), Great Britain served up an outstanding victory, walking away with the following:
Gold: Rachel Morgan – London (B1 Ladies)
Gold: Amanda Large – Manchester (B2 Ladies)
Gold: Rosie Pybus - Middlesbrough (B4 Ladies)
Silver: James Currie – Manchester (B2 Men)
Silver: Neil Fradgley – Isle of Wight (B4 Men)
Bronze: Paul Ryb – London (B3 Men)
Bronze: Sarah Fortescue – Milton Keynes (B3 Ladies)
Quarter-Finalist: Christopher Blake – London (B3 Men)
With ambitions to become a Paralympic sport in the future, visually impaired tennis is adapted from the full court version to a smaller court, with a lower net. It also uses an audible ball so players can hear it bounce and being hit, and, depending on an individual’s sight level, they can also be allowed up to three bounces before they must return it back to their opponent.
As part of its disability work, the LTA supports and promotes visually impaired tennis in Great Britain, including delivering regular weekly and monthly sessions as part of the LTA’s disability open court programme, subsidising camps to help players develop their skills and running a series of regional and national tournaments for blind and partially sighted players of all abilities.
Who said what?
Team Manager and LTA Disability Competitions Manager, Claire McCulloch said:
“What a result! We are absolutely thrilled with the team’s performance at the International Blind Tournament. To walk away as the highest medalling country is an amazing feat and I feel incredibly proud of all of my team. Blind and visually impaired tennis is one of the fastest growing versions of the sport, and we hope the team’s victory will inspire others to pick up a racket at one of the many sessions supported by the LTA across the UK.”
James Currie, who won silver in this year’s B2 Men’s category commented:
“It was an honour to play in the third International Blind Tennis Tournament and the standard of tennis has greatly improved from last year. There was a great team spirit all week!”
Amanda Large, who won gold in the B2 Ladies category added:
“What an amazing week of tennis! There was a great team spirit, determination, friendship and camaraderie throughout. It was an honour to represent my country and I am over the moon to become B2 ladies world champion for the second year in a row.”