Young Para Prodigy Prepares for World Championship Debut

By Matt Hetherington | July 31, 2018, 11:01 p.m. (ET)

From the 15th to 21st of October in Lasko - Celje, Slovenia, the World Para Table Tennis Championships will take place. On duty for the first time will be USA's 17 year old para table tennis star Ian Seidenfeld. The young teen from Minnesota earned invitation to the event after some stellar results on the para table tennis tour last year, including winning the German Open and the Spanish Open in succession, among many highlights from 2017. 

Now as he prepares to take on the toughest para athletes in the sport, he is building up to the China Para Open at the end of August and has been working hard at the Lily Yip Table Tennis Center in New Jersey, where he participated in the TTTeamUSA training camp and now stays on for an extra week of practice for the club's summer camp. 

After undergoing another surgery earlier this year, Seidenfeld made the decision to change his backhand rubber to long pimple rubber with max sponge. The results have been showing and since April, when he made the change, his USATT rating has jumped up over 100 points.

Taking on tough able bodied opposition, Seidenfeld excelled at the recent Westchester Table Tennis Open, reaching the quarterfinal of the Under 2200 event, and going one further in the 2350 where he made the semifinal stage. His rating now sits at its highest so far of 2163.

Seidenfeld underwent a heavy training schedule during the TTTeamUSA camp which included training with some of the top cadet players in the country, tough physical training and lots of matchplay. 

"It was really fun and a lot of hard work, long days, at the beginning of it it was really exhausting, the first day I barely made it through. My legs were completely tired, I could barely walk in the evening, after the first few sessions I wondered if I would be able to continue training. As the training went on and my legs got stronger, I was able to keep up better and get more out of training.

It's fun to compete with high level young players who really have a desire to win, both in training and in matches." Ian Seidenfeld, US Para National Team.

The determination of this young man to succeed shows both on and off the table and we certainly look forward to seeing how he performs on the biggest international stage in para table tennis! Best of luck Ian!