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July 16, 2004

Silver Medal For Team GB In Ladies Doubles

From: Lawn Tennis Association, UK - Jul 16, 2004

European Deaf Tennis Championships
Pau, France
(10-17 July 2004)

Catherine Graham (Yaddlethorpe, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire) and Sharon Templeman (Wrexham and Winsford, Cheshire) have won the first of a possible four medals for Marsh Team GB at the 10th European Deaf Tennis Championships, in Pau, France, after taking Silver in the Ladies Doubles.

National Ladies Doubles champions Graham and Templeman were runners-up to French pair Anne Cointe and Houda Moustahsine after a four-way round-robin competition also contested by their Marsh Team GB team mates, 17-year-old twins Alex and Beth Simmons (Marcham, Oxfordshire).

Team GB have the opportunity of three more medals before the Championships finish on Saturday, with Graham facing a Bronze medal play-off in the Ladies Singles and Anthony Sinclair (Belfast, Northern Ireland) also playing for Bronze in the Men's Singles.

Meanwhile, after losing their Men's Doubles semi-final against Germany's Hans Toedler and Torsten Vontheim in a close three sets, Sinclair and Darren O'Donnell (Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire) will also play-off for Bronze.

The Marsh Team GB Women's team for the European Championships is this same quartet which combined to win the 2003 Maere Cup, the women's World Deaf Tennis Championship, in Austria, last summer. This is the only the second time that Great Britain has won the Maere Cup in the event's 35-year history.

Team GB have been facing opposition from Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey at the European Championships.

At the last European Championships in Kottingbrunn, Austria, in 2000, Tunstall won a Bronze medal with fellow Briton Helen Schofield in the Mixed Doubles, while Britain also won another Bronze in the Ladies Doubles, courtesy of Helen Schofield and Fiona Brookes.

The 10th European Championships are a vitally important event for all the players as they look forward to challenging for selection later this year for the 2005 Deaflympics, the Olympic Games of deaf sport, which take place in Melbourne, Australia, in January.

[16.07.04 - Report by Marshall Thomas]

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