Zoe bags silver medal – with eye on world stage
Lerwick lass Zoe Buchanan has scooped a silver medal at the British Transplant Games, with an eye on the world competition next year in Malaga.
20-year-old Zoe traveled down to Liverpool to compete in the table tennis event, with boyfriend Rory Dalziel making the trip south to cheer her on.
Zoe said she faced stiff competition, with this year’s games being the biggest British tournament so far.
“I topped my group and then got through to the semi-finals, and then went through to the final,” she said.
“[I faced] a lass from Leicester but she was very, very good. She is a full-time player and she is very professional.”
Zoe had a kidney transplant after her kidneys failed when she was 13.
She was born weighing only three pounds 13 ounces and was diagnosed with a genetic condition called Russel Silver Syndrome, affecting growth and mobility due to an asymmetry in her organs.
Her mother Jill Bentley donated her kidney and since then she has gone on to compete at a number of events including both British and World Transplant Games competitions.
She said she has only been playing table tennis “properly” for the past four or five years though “it’s something I would like to concentrate more on”.
“I used to concentrate more on badminton but since I developed my heart condition I have to stick with table tennis, so I would rather focus on something than nothing at all,” she said.
Zoe unfortunately missed out on last year’s British Games in Newcastle due to ill health so a silver medal was a great achievement this time around.
Zoe said:”I’ve only really been playing again for the last four to five months. The whole of last year I was off work sick and I spent a lot of time between the Gilbert Bain and the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary just with different kidney infections, and my kidney transplant not working properly.”
She added: “I used to take the games incredibly seriously, not that I don’t now.
“But I used to be ‘I’m going for gold’. This time I took it a lot a differently. I decided I was going to see what the competition was like so I could get myself back in the running.
“These games for me were a chance to see what I could achieve again and to get a silver medal really was fantastic.
“I wasn’t expecting anything. I was really, really hoping to get on the podium but I didn’t think I would.
“To walk away with a silver medal was pretty exciting.”