Swimmers make a splash as table tennis marks its debut
One of the most anticipated days on the competition schedule, day four of Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023 saw swimmers shine and table tennis make an Invictus Games appearance for the first time.
At the swimming pool, there were medals aplenty for the Australian competitors, but it was the personal bests and the Invictus spirit that took centre stage.
Competitors took part in a host of events, including the 50-metre backstroke, 50-metre breaststroke and 50 and 100-metre freestyle and a 4 x 50-metre mixed relay.
Team Australia’s Jamie McGlinchey didn’t expect to make the final, but he pushed through producing two personal bests on his way to an overall seventh place finish in the men’s 50-metre backstroke (ISE).
Jamie McGlicnhey represents Australia in the swimming at Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023.
Fellow competitor Verity Sanchez swam twice in one day and stepped it up for the final of the women’s 50-metre backstroke (ISE), swimming faster than her heat.
Verity Sanchez represents Australia in the swimming at Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023.
Capping off a great day at the pool, the Australian Team of Ryan Kelly, Flight Sergeant Nathan King, Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Cooper Blackwood and Karl Woodward won the mixed 4 x 50-metre freestyle.
Ryan Kelly, Flight Sergeant Nathan King, Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Cooper Blackwood and Karl Woodward following their win in the mixed 4×50-metre freestyle.
The swimming events are just one of many highlights of these Games for Karl Woodward, with the sport playing a big part of his life for a long time.
“I’ve always loved swimming, from learning when I was younger, to through my teenage years competing at national, state and local level,” Woodward said.
Karl Woodward represents Australia in the swimming at Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023.
Karl is supported in Dusseldorf by partner Maddie Lovasz and mother Leonie who said the Invictus experience had been life-changing.
I feel very honoured and blessed to be a part of it and join in with everyone.”
Partner Maddie said preparation for the Invictus Games has reintroduced Karl to a sport that he loves.
“He hasn’t competed in sports in a very long time. He’s pushing himself and enjoying the process,” Lovasz said.
“The opportunity to compete with Invictus has been a tremendous help to Karl. From the moment he applied right through until now where he’s competing out on the floor. It’s been something for him that he’s been able to work towards every day and is giving him a goal to strive for.”
Team Australia Family and Friends at Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023.
Invictus Australia Director of Teams, Team Australia Technical Swim Advisor and Olympian Adam Pine was thrilled with the performance, but was more impressed with the personal triumphs.
“We’ve had some lifetime PBs, lots of smiling faces and unexpected people making finals,” Pine said.
“Sport is the real winner here, it’s wonderful to see the connection they have to the team and the success that they’re getting with the medals is just a bonus,” he said.
Team Australia competitors at Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023.
Also on Wednesday, the sport of table tennis made its Invictus Games debut with nations lining up to compete in the doubles before singles events take place on Thursday.
Stephen Lockwood represents Australia in the table tennis at Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023.
Australia’s Invictus Games table tennis team consists of Brooke Mead, Karney Armstrong, Steve Richards, Verity Sanchez and captain Stephen Lockwood.
For Team Australia the day began with preliminary rounds before heats and finals for ITT4-7 (standing class).
Karney Armstrong and Steve Richards got into the spirit, donning neon green and gold sweatbands for their doubles matches, their bright attire and Invictus spirit garnering the support of the crowd. Their table tennis journey saw the duo play three pool stage matches (0-2 to Israel, 2-1 over Columbia and 0-2 to Denmark).
Steve Richards and Karney Armstrong represent Australia in the table tennis at Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023.
The Aussies were up against an all-male dominated field and the second pairing of Brooke Mead and Stephen Lockwood advanced to the final elimination stage, before being knocked out by France (2-0 over USA, 1-2 New Zealand, 0-2 to France).
As well as table tennis, pool matches of the sitting volleyball will be held on Thursday.
The Invictus Games is an international, adaptive multi-sports competition for serving and former military personnel who have been wounded, injured or become ill during their military service. Team Australia is delivered in partnership between Invictus Australia and the Australian Defence Force, and consists of 31 competitors.
Düsseldorf is the sixth city to host the Invictus Games, following The Hague in 2022, Sydney in 2018, Toronto in 2017, Orlando in 2016 and London in 2014.
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WHERE TO WATCH
From Saturday, 9 September, all competitions of INVICTUS GAMES DÜSSELDORF 2023 presented by Boeing as well as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies can be streamed for free and without login on the German website (https://invictusgames23.de) and YouTube channel (https://youtube.com/@invictusgamesdusseldorf2023).
To keep up to date and see exclusive behind the scenes content from Team Australia’s journey make sure you are following us on all social channels.
About Invictus Australia: Invictus Australia encourages veterans and their families to connect and engage with their communities through sport. Whether participating or volunteering at grassroots level, to competing internationally at an Invictus or Warrior Games, Invictus Australia leverages the power of sport to proactively foster good health and aid in recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration. Invictus Australia promotes the physical, social and emotional benefits of sport for all, and shine a light on the unique needs of younger veterans, particularly the challenges associated with transitioning from military to civilian life.
About the Invictus Games: The 2023 Invictus Games takes place from the 9th – 16th September in Dusseldorf, Germany. Invictus Australia, in partnership with the Australian Defence Force, are supporting 31 former and current serving competitors as part of Team Australia. The Invictus Games is an international adaptive sporting event for serving and former serving military personnel who have been wounded, injured or become ill during their military service. Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, is the Patron of the Invictus Games. The Games uses the healing power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and celebrate the crucial role played by family and friends.