Former gold medalist for table tennis challenges first time in 8 years at Deaflympics in Taiwan
Masaki Umemura (35) of Hokkaido will participate in table tennis of the "Deaflympic Games" in Taipei this September.
When he was a third grader of elementary school, he started to work on table tennis in full scale. Influenced by his elder brother, his sister is also a worldwide player and was one of the best 16 players in the women's singles table tennis of the Athens Olympics.
Umemura participated both in the Deaflympics in Denmark in 1997 and Italy in 2001. He won a gold medal with the group by the doubles in Denmark and the championship by four items (singles, the doubles, mixed doubles, and the group) in Italy.
He did not participate in the Deaflympics held in Australia in 2005 from the sense of accomplishment at that time. However, the result of the Japanese delegation for table tennis was poor. The Hokkaido Federation of the Deaf and others requested him to participate in the upcoming Deaflymics. He decided to challenge again, for the first time in 8 years.
Umemura, who has practiced hard, enthusiastically says, "My physical condition is not as perfect as before. But I feel now that I am mentally complete to compete. I will get the gold medal by all means".
Source in Japanese: