Nir-Kistler headed for Beijing
Noga Nir-Kistler has qualified for the table tennis competition in the worldwide Paralympics in Beijing, China, in September with a strong showing at the recent U.S. Open Paralympics in Chicago.
The Whitehall grad is currently ranked No. 8 in Class 5 (least disabled) in the world after reaching the quarterfinals of the women's open singles tourney and the quarters of the Class 5 singles.
She teamed with Pam Fontaine of Texas to win the bronze in the Class 5 team event in Chicago.
Nir-Kistler, who has been battling reflex sympathetic dystrophy, or RSD, for seven years, will have more surgery -- approximately her 35th -- on Monday.
''She was playing tournaments in Venezuela and Croatia the last two months trying to get her world ranking up from No. 10 so that she would qualify for the Paralymics and she did it,'' said Fred Kistler, her husband. ''She's ecstatic, as I am. It's an amazing accomplishment.
''Now, she just needs to play in a lot of tournaments to stay sharp. Knowing Noga, her upcoming surgery won't set her back much. The last surgery she had was on a Monday and she was playing again on Wednesday.''
Nir-Kistler is a member of the Allentown/Lehigh Valley Table Tennis Club that operates out of the Allentown YW/YMCA and will be featured in an upcoming segment on NBC10 of Philadelphia.
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