TABLE TENNIS: Whiteabbey teen Conor Nugent tops rankings

Conor Nugent. INLT 14-922-CON
Conor Nugent. INLT 14-922-CON

Whiteabbey table tennis sensation Conor Nugent rounded off a memorable season by topping the national rankings.

Belfast High pupil Nugent accumulated 3,800 points to sit proudly at the summit of the Under-15 Irish table, having won the opening Irish Junior Classifications before finishing as runner-up in the Ulster Junior Open to Jonathan McDonald. He was also second to Thomas Joyce of Mayo in the Connacht Junior Open and then fell at the semi final again to Joyce.

“It was a long hard season and balancing the school work and table tennis training camps is a difficult act to get right at times,” admitted Conor’s dad, Charlie, “but he’s delighted to make the number one spot in his last year at U15 level.

“Next season sees him move officially into the U18 division where he finished in 10th spot this year.”

Conor represented Ireland at the Molnar tournament in February and while it was a tough foray into European tournaments he made it through to the last 32 in Under-15 boys’ section against international players from Germany, Hungary, Israel, England, Croatia and Sweden.

He played the eventual Under 15 winner in the Under 18 event the next day and acquitted himself well, finally out losing 3-1 in a hard-fought match.

In 2014, he was part of the gold medal-winning U13 Ulster Boys’ team at the Irish Interpros.