Twin successes for golden girl Megan in France

Megan Shackleton with her trophies
Megan Shackleton with her trophies

Todmorden teenager Megan Shackleton collected two gold medals as part of the GB Para table tennis team at the first Cote d’Azur International in Hyères les Palmiers.

The fifteen-year-old won the women’s class 4/5 singles in France and then partnered Israeli Caroline Tabib to success in the women’s class 4-5 team event.

Megan is the youngest member of the GB Performance Squad and she showed a maturity beyond her years to collect her first international gold medals, winning all her matches in the tournament.

She recovered from the disappointment of losing a match point in the fourth set to defeat the Russian Aleksandra Vasileva 3-2 in the final of her singles event.

She had earlier shown all her fighting qualities to beat the Norwegian Sabine Solveig Femtehjel by 11-7 in the fifth game in the semi-final.

Megan said having such a tough semi-final had worked in her favour.

“I battled through it and that gave me confidence,” said said.

“It’s amazing to get my first gold and it means a lot to me with all the training that I do.”

Shackleton had begun with a 3-0 win over Delphine Mavouza from France and ensured that she would top her group and progress to the semi-finals by beating Yvette Moerdijk, a class 5 player from the Netherlands.

Megan won her second gold when she and Tabib beat Russia 3-1, France 3-0 and then a combined team from Germany, Norway and the Netherlands by 3-0 in their last match of the round robin event.

Shackleton gave her partnership the perfect start in the final by beating Laurance Taburet from Germany 3-0. Tabib then defeated Norwegian Sabine Femtehjel by the same score.

The pair always looked in command against Taburet and Moerdijk of the Netherlands and won the doubles 3-0 on their third match point to clinch the gold.

“I’ve played well for most of the tournament,” said Shackleton. “I’m really happy with how I’ve done and training is paying off.

“Caroline and I are a similar age and we’re on the same wavelength and it’s nice to have someone on your team who wants to win just as much as you do.

“Knowing that I’ve won two gold medals is going to give me a lot of confidence

“I’ve played consistently through the tournament and hopefully I can continue to do that next season. There’s still a lot of room for improvement.”