It's another goldrush for super Sam

08 Feb 2019

PUT a racquet or bat in his hand and some opposition to take on and the chances are Para athlete Sam Von Einem is going to enjoy the spoils of success.

Sam, part of SASI's Individual Athlete Scholarships program, recently defied searing heat and tough opposition to win the men's singles for the second time and doubles at his first attempt at the Australian Tennis Championships for Athletes with a Disabilty - held at the same time and venue as the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Sam, who won the men's singles in 2017 and was runners-up in 2018, said the experience was fantastic.

"In the final (against Archie Graham) the first set was topsy turvy," Sam said. "But when I got that first set it was a relief and gave me confidence to win the second 6-3. In the men's doubles that was so tough (paired with Mitchell James).

"We lost the first set 6-2, won the second 6-4 and won the super tiebreak 10-7.

"It was so hot and I hadn't been feeling great so I was pleased to win that. Some of the events were delayed because of the heat. The atmosphere was really good and to play at such a major venue was fantastic."

No sooner had Sam cooled down from a rewarding, but hectic schedule he was off to the Australian Para Table Tennis Championship at Murray Bridge. There, he showed his talent by winning gold in the men's Class 11 singles and doubles events and silver in the men's Open Class 6-11 singles. He also teamed with Jonathan Tan (New South Wales) to dominate the teams' events without dropping a set.

SASI IAP athletes Caleb Crowden, Connor Holdback, Yasir Hussaini and Amanda Tscharke also competed at the national titles.

Sam, of Glengowrie and a silver medallist at the Rio Paralympics and a bronze medallist at the 2018 ITTF World Para Table Tennis Championship in Lasko-Celje, Slovenia, will head to Slovenia in May (8-11) for the Slovenian Open.

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