|Listen here to an interview with Mike
Palmer of Team Great Britain
|Listen here to an interview with John
Connor of Team Australia
People from all over the world were milling about as athletes in the
men's and women's singles and doubles tennis competition competed for the
gold. Not a cloud dotted the sky above the Cintra Park Tennis Centre
in Concord, a western suburb of Sydney. Approximately 225 competitors
from 51 countries competed in matches over a two-day period on omni turf
courts. It was a sunny, 80-degree day. Not all the athletes
were accustomed to playing in this kind of heat and sun - especially the
There wasn't a children's competition per se, but two young boys from
Team Australia, Michael Burgess (13), from Baulkham Hills, a northwestern
suburb of Sydney, and Marko Juric (15), from Adelaide, decided
to play doubles. They played against two athletes from Team Argentina,
both of whom were 25 years old. Both Michael and Marko are competing
after receiving kidney transplants. Michael's was from a cadaveric
donor while Marko received a kidney from his father, Ivan. This was
their first World Transplant Games and they've never played tennis together
Meet the two youngest athletes that competed
in tennis today:
sten to Michael's thoughts about competing in The
World Transplant Games by clicking here.
|Michael was diagnosed at 11 months old with progressive kidney disease.
After a series of operations when he was small, Michael received a new
kidney from a cadaveric donor on April 20, 1997 at the age of 13.
He enjoyed playing tennis before his transplant, as well as playing soccer
and bike riding with friends. His younger sister Jennifer said, "He
loves his sister and he was really brave when he had his transplant."
His father said, "When the call came through, Michael said that this was
the best day of his life."
|Michael Burgess (left) of Team Australia
and his family
|"All of our family and friends are watching TransWeb's coverage
of the games in the Bosnian and Croatian Club in Adelaide," said
Marko's mother Marinka. The Jurics are of Croatian decent but have
been residing in Adelaide for years. Marko's father donated his kidney
to Marko when he had his kidney transplant right before Christmas in 1995.
The doctor performing the transplant as well as the anesthesiologist came
to the Baptist church with Marko's family to pray before the surgery.
Within three weeks of his operation, Marko was playing tennis as he did
before the transplant.
||Marko Juric (with tennis racket) of Team Australia and his family
Format: 8 game pro set to semis. Semis and up, TBA.
To accommodate those eliminated after one match in the first round,
Games Organizers will organize a separate tournament for first-round losers
in the singles for each event. No medals will be awarded for this consolation
event, and winners do not "re-qualify" for the medal round.
Doubles will commence when the quarter finals of the singles event
September 30 and October 1