Ireland’s Colin Judge fell to Chinese table tennis star Zhao Ping in the first round of Group G of the Class 3 men’s singles event at the 2020 Summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The World number six made it difficult for Judge from the start and his nerves showed as he surrendered the first set 11-6.
The Dubliner got into the game and took it to Zhao in the second set, pulling one back and forcing a third set to determine the winner.
The Paralympian was level with Zhao late in the second set with a win needed to stay in the game.
Judge produced an impressive finish to keep himself in contention, scoring multiple points on the bounce to set up a promising final set.
However, it was not to be for the Irishman, as Zhao won the deciding set as comfortable as he took the first – an 11-6 victory.
The Paralympic athlete can still progress in the event if Zhao wins his second match of the tournament this evening against Brazilian Welder Knaf.
Zhao will play Knaf at 4:00 am Irish Standard Time – Judge will face Knaf after this match in his second match of the Paralympic games regardless of the result.
To see how Ireland’s other Paralympians performed on the first day, click here.