Spain’s Alvaro Valera and Croatia’s Sandra Paovic were named the male and female para-table tennis award winners at the prestigious International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Star Awards on Wednesday (7 January) evening in Dubai, UAE.
World number one in the men’s Class 6, Valera had an extremely successful 2014. The 28-year-old won the world title in his single’s class and also claimed gold in the men’s team event.
A video of Valera’s achievements can be found here.
Likewise Paovic also performed well in her women’s single class last year with the world number one winning the world title in the women’s single’s Class 6.
A video of Paovic in action can be found here.
"I am happy and proud to win this big award tonight. It's really great to be back in table tennis again!" shared the 31-year old Croatian who successfully made her return to the table tennis scene after her life threatening crash in 2009.
Seven awards were handed out at the awards, which took place at the base of the world's tallest building, to recognise the achievements of athletes and coaches in 2014.
Full list of ITTF Star Awards winners:
• Male Table Tennis Star presented by Ping Pong Dubai: Quadri Aruna (Nigeria)
• Female Table Tennis Star presented by Nittaku: Ding Ning (China)
• Male Para Table Tennis Star presented by Tinsue: Alvaro Valera (Spain)
• Female Para Table Tennis Star presented by Stag International: Sandra Paovic (Croatia)
• Table Tennis Star Coach presented by Butterfly: Pedro Rufino (Portugal)
• Table Tennis Star Point presented by DHS: Quadri Aruna (Nigeria)
• Fair Play Star: Liu Jia (Austria)