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Aust ends para-table tennis medal drought

AAP logoAAP 12/09/2016 Lucy Hughes Jones

Table tennis rookie Sam Von Einem has snapped Australia's 32-year Paralympic medal drought in Rio.

The 21-year-old took silver in the men's class 11 after going down 3-2 against Florian van Acker from Belgium in a nail-biting final.

It was the nation's first medal in the sport since 1984.

The South Australian had never beaten his world No.1 opponent, and was disappointed to finish runner up again.

"(But) I've never run him that close before, so I'm really quite happy with that performance," Von Einem said.

"I wanted to have a red-hot crack at gold, and feel like I've done that."

After winning two sets apiece, it came down to the wire in the fifth but Von Einem couldn't hold on.

The student from Adelaide said he put up a good fight in what was the highest achievement of his career.

Von Einem, who has an intellectual impairment, said he had been happy to keep a low profile at the Games, while teammate Melissa Tapper received more attention.

Tapper became the first Australian to compete at an Olympics and Paralympics in the same year.

"She's a great role model, and I definitely flew under the radar which helped," he said.

"I'm definitely looking forward to Tokyo, coming back bigger, better, stronger."

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