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Stellar US Para Junior Athlete Breaks into Top Ten World Ranking After Shining Performance in China

By Michael Reff | Nov. 19, 2019, 8:33 p.m. (ET)

Jenson Van Emburgh USA Table Tennis

Jenson Van Emburgh has successfully attained a world ranking of #9, bringing him ever closer to securing his position for Tokyo 2020. Now the top junior Para athlete in the Class 3 designation, Van Emburgh’s Bronze medal in the recent China Para Open was the pivotal factor in boosting his world ranking into the top ten. 

Van Emburgh stated, “I’m very happy about my latest accomplishments. I’ve been putting in so much work everyday with practicing table tennis and trying to become stronger physically also. I am also feeling more mentally stronger which I am very happy about.”

Previously he earned singles Silver in the Para Pan American Games; he would have needed a Gold medal to directly qualify for Tokyo. Many might shy away from their dreams after experiencing this initial disappointment, but Van Emburgh proved he has the grit for the long haul.

“It was very difficult at first to accept I lost in the final at Pan Am,” admitted Van Emburgh. “But then I saw the new rankings and I was 12 and I knew I need to go for that one last push to get myself in the best ranking position for Tokyo.”

Thus, the Bronze medal at the China Para Open and the new world ranking of #9 to tote.

When asked about the main challenges between now and a hopeful Tokyo qualification with possibly securing a medal there, Van Emburgh said it’s a focus on hard work in practicing as well as an optimal mental and physical game. “If I am healthy and feeling good, I will always have a chance for a medal,” he remarked.

Van Emburgh attributes his great success to his coaches, family and supporters.

March 31st of next year is the cutoff for world rankings, which will ultimately determine if Van Emburgh qualifies for Tokyo. We wish him success in pursuing his Olympic goals as he waits to see if he has made it through. Hard work has paid off thus far and should continue to do so.

We will see Jenson in action in the Para Events in a matter of weeks in Fort Worth at the 2019 Seamaster US Open where he hopes to take the crown again as he did last year in Las Vegas at the 2018 US Para Table Tennis Open.