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Sophie (13) is keen to retain Ulster crown

 

Exciting chapter: Sophie Earley and Lady Mary Peters
Exciting chapter: Sophie Earley and Lady Mary Peters

By Robert Jones

Thirteen-year-old table tennis sensation Sophie Earley, from Belfast, is focused on defending her senior women's singles title at the Robinson's Ulster Open in Lisburn Racquets Centre this weekend.

Sophie, who has been travelling the world on the Junior Tour in 2019, has broken new ground for the sport here, recently winning a silver medal at the World Cadet Challenge in Poland and bronze in the Hungarian Open.

The Ormeau TTC player's talents have also been recognised by Lady Mary Peters, who has featured Sophie in her new book 'Passing the Torch'. It contains over 150 stories of women across all sports with the aim of inspiring the next generation.

Sophie's brothers, Thomas and Zak, are the top Ulster players in the men's competition.

The Ulster Open will kick off with a Scotland v Ulster match at Lisburn Racquets Club on Friday night at 7.15pm and entry is free.

Saturday will see the senior competition take place with the finals at 6.30pm, and the Junior competition is on Sunday.

Over 140 players have entered and the public are encouraged to come along and see this exciting sport played at the highest level.

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