Young local table tennis star Ben Watson warms up for European Championships

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Congratulations to Castlereagh's Ben Watson who has been selected to represent Ireland at the European Youth Championships in Malmo, Sweden from July 11-16.

This follows Ben's impressive season of table tennis results where he secured first place in the Munster Open and in the Ulster Schools Individual Event.

In April, he was selected to play for Ireland in the Oster Cup event in Flensburg, Germany where the team secured a bronze medal and he captained the Grosvenor Grammar school team to winning gold at the All Ireland Schools Event in Dublin last month.

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For many athletes, being selected to represent Ireland at the European Youth Championships marks a significant milestone.

Ben Watson from Castlereagh in training, ahead of the European Youth Championships which will take place in Malmo during the summer. Photo credit Rowland WhiteBen Watson from Castlereagh in training, ahead of the European Youth Championships which will take place in Malmo during the summer. Photo credit Rowland White
Ben Watson from Castlereagh in training, ahead of the European Youth Championships which will take place in Malmo during the summer. Photo credit Rowland White

Ben, who has been training at NICS and Kingsland Table Tennis Clubs is looking forward to competing once again on the European stage at the five day tournament, having had to turn down the opportunity to compete in Prague due to his A level exams.

As much as Ben enjoys the competition, he also likes helping others and having attained his Level 1 coaching qualification, he was back at his previous Primary School, Andrews Memorial, coaching the teams prior to the Ulster Schools Event where the girls team enjoyed success and got the opportunity to play in the Irish event bringing home silver medals.

This is a massive achievement for our young athlete and we wish him and his team mates well at this prestigious event.

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The European Youth Championships were first held in 1955 in Stuttgart (BDR). After the 65th edition last year held in Polish Gliwice, in 2024 the host will be Malmö, Sweden.

At the last edition of the EYC, Romania emerged as the most successful nation, securing the highest number of gold medals – 6, as well as the most overall medals – 17. Poland, Germany, and Portugal followed. Romania achieved a clear victory, attaining 6 gold medals, similar to their performance in 2022, while also securing more silver and bronze medals.

Currently, the championships include team, doubles and singles events for both genders and age classes as well as a mixed doubles event. There are also consolation events for players defeated in the qualifying stages and in the first round of the singles events.