Munster Table Tennis were delighted to “unveil” a brand new venue for the Munster Open this year in the Munster Technological University Arena in Cork City. The event took place on the 13th and 14th January. 198 entries from 111 players were received across the 16 different competition categories. The number of players represents a 30% increase on 2023 and the number of entries is a whopping 80% increase on 2023, proving that table tennis is recovering post Covid.
The overall highlight of performances at the Munster Open had to be the competition between Ulster players Anjali Singh of Ormeau and Emily Flynn of Craigavon over a range of categories. Both won two categories, with the other very often the runner up in those categories – Anjali won the Women’s Singles and U/17 Girls while Emily won the Women’s U/21 and Girls U/19 categories.
Another significant pattern was that five champions from 2023 successfully defended their titles this year. This included Ulster players Anjali Singh in the Women’s Singles and U/17 Girls and Ben Watson in the U/19 Boys. In respect of the inter provincial rivalry, Ulster players won out with 7 winners over Leinster with 5 winners followed by Munster with 3 winners.
The Ulster category winners were:
Senior Women: Anjali Singh
U/21 Men: Adam Faulkner
U/21 Women: Emily Flynn
U/19 Boys: Ben Watson
U/19 Girls: Emily Flynn
U/17 Girls: Anjali Singh
U/13 Boys: Karsten Close
In addition to the top spots, there were also other fantastic performances by Ulster players. In the Open Men’s singles event Adam Faulkner was runner up with Ben Watson and Joe Sheard, semi-finalists. Emily was a semi finalist in the Women’s Open event.
In the u21 events, Joe Sheard and Anjali Singh took silver medals whilst Ben Watson finished with Bronze.
In the junior events (U/19) there were also podium finishes for Adam Faulkner, Tom Irwin, Anjali Singh and Lily Parke with Lily also finishing 3rd at U/17.
Congratulations to all our players for their incredible achievements and dedication to making the long journey to Cork!
Thanks to Club Sportscast for the live streaming and commentary of matches and interviews with players over the two days. Finally, but not least, thanks go to Tournament Referee, Adrian Brown, and Assistant to the Referee, Niall O’Flaherty, along with Adam Brown who provided IT support, and to the umpires who provided effective management of the many matches played over the weekend.