With millions of eyes glued to the TV during the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Andrea McDonnell introduced thousands of Australians to the exciting, fast-paced world of Para-table tennis.

Despite an opening round loss to Faith Obazuaye (NGR), Andrea found her form with straight-sets victories over Stephanie Chan (CAN), Vaishnavi Sutar (IND) and Felicity Pickard (ENG), to win her first medal – a bronze – at a major international competition and the first medal by an Australian table tennis player at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Andrea, who grew up watching her parents compete in table tennis and played recreationally herself as an adult, could have never predicted the heights she would reach after a workplace accident in 1999.

She made her international debut in 2013 and achieved selection to her first Australian Paralympic Team in 2016. Andrea’s dreams of winning a Paralympic medal appeared to be on track when she reached the …

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Date of birth
17 July 1960
Para-table tennis
Past Paralympic Games

Rio 2016

Physical Impairment – Joint movement restrictions
How acquired
Workplace accident
Ayr, QLD
Senior financial planner
Started competing
First competed for Australia
Sport career highlights

Becoming the Australian U14 girls singles champion and Australian ladies doubles champion

Greatest sporting moments

Coaching her nieces at the Australian Junior Table Tennis Championships

Heroes/role models

Her mum

Favourite quote
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough - Mae West


  • Sport: Para-table tennis Discipline: Singles Classification: Class 10
  • Sport: Para-table tennis Discipline: Team Classification: Classes 6-10

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