Kelly van Zon is a well-known Dutch athlete set to participate in the upcoming Dutch Open Para (DOP) in Stadskanaal, scheduled for November 1 to 3 at Papendal. She gained recognition as the world’s best para-table tennis player in 2018 as acknowledged by the International Tabeltennis Federation (ITTF).
Despite her global travels, this will only be the third time that Kelly van Zon competes in a major tournament in her home country. The 32-year-old athlete expressed her excitement, stating, “Traveling the world has been wonderful, but there’s something special about competing in a major tournament right here in my own country. The DOP feels like a homecoming for me. It’s a chance for my family and friends to watch me play in the Netherlands, and I hope to bring them joy by winning this enjoyable tournament.”
Kelly van Zon has had an illustrious career, boasting two gold medals from the Paralympic Games, three world championship titles, and a consistent top-ranking position in her category, womans class 7. Her exceptional accomplishments were celebrated at the ITTF Star Awards in South Korea in December 2018 when she was named the world’s best para-table tennis player. It’s no secret that Van Zon is among the favorites in Class 7 at the upcoming DOP.
As an experienced player, Van Zon is optimistic about the inaugural edition of the DOP, highlighting the increasing professionalism in para-table tennis. “The para-table tennis world has become more professional in recent years, with many players, including myself, dedicating full-time training. I believe spectators in Stadskanaal will witness thrilling matches. Athletes from all corners of the world will gather in Stadskanaal, and it’s heartwarming to see how sports can bridge cultures and countries. This is one of the strengths of an international tournament like the DOP, and, of course, I hope to secure a victory myself.”