Awesome Alfie grabs Global Games medal
- Table tennis player Alfie Linn has won bronze – the first NZ medal of the Virtus Global Games 2023.
- Virtus is for elite athletes with intellectual impairment.
- The NZ delegation of 10 swimmers, 1 athletics athlete and Alfie Linn competing in table tennis are in Vichy, France for the Global Games.
After days of almost-wins for Alfie Linn, the table tennis player has claimed New Zealand’s first medal of the Virtus Global Games 2023. Partnering with France’s Alexandre Sol, the duo seized bronze in the Men’s Doubles.
A thrilled Alfie shared:
“I’m so proud representing the New Zealand team. I feel happy in my heart and making Nelson proud.”
Alfie Linn, table tennis player
Alfie is 21 years old and comes from Māpua near Nelson where he plays with the Nelson Table Tennis Club. He has Down Syndrome and competes in the II2 group (see Notes). It is his second Virtus Global Games. He is the only table tennis player in the New Zealand delegation.
Head of Delegation Helen Brookes describes Alfie as ‘a firecracker’:
“Alfie chats to everyone and just loves to be part of everything.”
During the week’s competition, Alfie has come tantalisingly close to medalling multiple times. In Men’s Singles, he just missed out on competing for a medal, losing 14-12 in the 5th set, having equalised to 2 sets all after being down 2 sets to love. In the Mixed Doubles he partnered with a player from the Czech Republic. They tied in the quarter finals, just missing out on reaching the semi-finals through countback.
The athletes played 5 back-to-back matches in scorching 35-degree heat, making the fine margins even tougher than usual.
After finally claiming New Zealand’s first medal, Alfie got a hero’s welcome from his Kiwi teammates at their hotel. Most of the athletes were in their pyjamas but stayed up to see him before they went to bed.
In the rest of the delegation, Joshua Lush qualified for the long jump final with a jump of 6.30m. He competes in the final tonight.
Competition in the Global Games began on Monday and finishes tonight.
Who can compete in Virtus competitions?
The three eligible groups for Virtus competitions are:
- II1 (Intellectual Impairment)
- II2 (Significant Intellectual Impairment)
- II3 (Autism)