Sam von Einem was always a pretty reasonable chance of snaring the top award at the annual Table Tennis Australia Para awards, held in Mornington this week.
Von Einem thrilled Australian sports fans when he won a silver medal at last year’s Rio Paralympic Games in the Class 11 men’s singles.
His outstanding achievement was recognised at Sunday night’s presentation evening when he was named the 2016 Arthur Wilks Para Player of the Year.
Table Tennis Australia also presented 21-year-old von Einem with a framed signed shirt. The shirt and the Player of the Year Award were presented to von Einem by Bruno Moretti, who, alongside Bill Mather Brown, won Australia’s first ever Paralympic medal.
Moretti and Mather Brown won silver in the B-class doubles at the 1960 Paralympic Games in Rome.
Moretti also won gold in both singles and doubles in the Para table tennis events at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth.
Von Einem was Australia’s first Paralympic medallist since Terry Biggs won gold in 1984. He started playing table tennis in 2007, and first represented Australia in 2011.
The South Australian-born athlete was unlucky not to snare gold in Rio, losing a thrilling five-game nail-biter to world number one, Florian Van Acker, 8-11, 18-16, 13-11, 5-11, 8-11.
Sam von Einem won gold at last week’s Australian Paralympic Championships, which attracted athletes from Thailand, Indonesia and all over Australia.
He also teamed up with Victoria’s Rory Carroll to in doubles gold.
By Table Tennis Australia