When Joel Coughlan started competing in table tennis as an eight-year-old, he had no idea that one day he would be aiming to represent his country at the Paralympic Games.

Joel was a professional table tennis athlete and aspiring miner when, at the age of 21, he was severely injured in a workplace accident. While he was working as a labourer in an industrial workshop in Rockhampton, QLD, half a tonne of mining equipment fell from a forklift. Joel lost three toes on his right foot and muscle in his right leg, and underwent nearly three dozen operations, skin grafting, renal dialysis and a tendon transfer.

Even after the accident, Joel continued to train under his coach of then 13 years, Pam Clarke. His transition from table tennis to Para-table tennis was seamless, and in 2009, he made his international debut at the 2009 ITTF Para-table Tennis Asia and Oceania …

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Date of birth
13 July 1988
Sport
Para-table tennis
Past Paralympic Games

Nil

Impairment
Physical Impairment – Limb loss and muscle atrophy
How acquired
Forklift accident
Residence
Norman Gardens, QLD
Occupation
Sales and service manager
Started competing
1999
First competed for Australia
2009
Sport career highlights

Beating the world No. 3 at the 2011 ITTF Para-table Tennis Asia and Oceania Championships in Hong Kong

Heroes/role models

Georges St-Pierre

Favourite quote
Do not use a canon to kill a mosquito - Confucius

Disciplines

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

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