Jenson Van Emburgh wins Gold in Class 3 at ITTF US Para Open

by Barbara Wei

Singles: 2024 Para US Open MS Class 3 medalists: (L-R) Chien-Ping YIN (TPE), Jenson VAN EMBURGH (USA), Anurak LAOWONG (THA), Francois GEULJANS (FRA). Corpus Christi, Texas. Jan. 17, 2024 (Photo by USATT)

(CORPUS CHRISTI, TX) – From January 16-18, 2024 Corpus Christi, Texas hosted over 100 para athletes from 21 countries at the ITTF US Para Open. 27 US Para players competed in the event, including Jenson Van Emburgh who has already secured his spot for this summer’s Paris Paralympic Games.

In dominant fashion, Jenson won gold in Class 3, only dropping 1 game in the semifinal to Anurak Laowong (Thailand). In the final, Jenson overcame Chien-ping Yin from Chinese Taipei in straight games 11-3, 11-7, 11-4.

“I am very happy with my performance at the US Para Open. It is a good steppingstone, and I am going to build off my performance for the next tournaments to come in March, May, and finally the Paralympics!” – Jenson Van Emburgh.

Jenson currently trains in Naples, FL and plays 3 hours a day almost every day. After winning bronze at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, he has his eyes on gold in Paris.

Jenson grew up in a tennis family but tried table tennis when his disability made playing tennis too difficult. He fell in love with the sport and has been training hard ever since.

“I love to play my sport, table tennis. I’m very passionate about it. I take it very seriously. I love fighting and the feeling of being on the table and there’s only one other person. I’m the only one out there and I love it. It feels like, almost war, I love the fight in the sport.” – Jenson Van Emburgh.

In addition to Jenson, many US players had strong performances at the event:

  • Men’s Singles - Class 4 - Zachary Alan Pickett - SEMIFINAL
  • Men’s Singles – Class 8 - Marco Sephom Makkar - QUARTERFINAL
  • Men’s Singles – Class 9 - Tahl Leibovitz – SEMIFINAL
  • Men’s Singles - Class 10 – Samuel Chang Huang & Randall Medcalf – QUARTERFINAL
  • Women’s Singles – Class 1-5 – Valeri Ann Rolph – QUARTERFINAL
  • Women’s Singles – Class 6-10 – Mingyu Zu - SEMIFINAL
  • Men’s Doubles – Class MD 8 – Ahad Sarand with Francois Geulians (FRA) – FINAL
  • Men’s Doubles – Class MD 18 – Tahl Leibovitz with Logan Wade Watson – QUARTERFINAL