Local tennis player wins gold medal at Deaflympics

spedersen@ledger-enquirer.comAugust 2, 2013 

Special to the Ledger-Enquirer Columbus State University tennis player and Hardaway High School graduate Laura Chapman, left, and her Team USA partner, Emily Hangstefer of Signal Mountain, Tenn., will play today for the women's doubles golf medal at the 2013 Deaflympics in Sofia, Bulgaria.

SOFIA, Bulgaria — Former Hardaway tennis standout Laura Chapman is now a gold medal winner.

Chapman, who now plays with Columbus State University, won the top medal in women's doubles at the 2013 Deaflympics.

Chapman and her partner Emily Hangstefer won 6-4, 6-1 over second-seeded Chiu-Mei Ho and Hsiu-Hsiang Ho of Chinese Taipei.

"I can't explain how happy I am that Emily and I won this match," Chapman said in CSU's news release. "It honestly hasn't really set in for us that we won a gold medal for our country."

It was the first gold medal for the United States in tennis since the 1997 Deaflympics games, according to the release. It also marks the first time that the USA won the gold in women's doubles since 1993 when Mary Reilly and Paige Stringer won the competition. The '93 games also took place in Sofia.

"This is a great day for CSU athletics and especially the women's tennis program," CSU coach Evan Isaacs said. "Laura deserves this honor as much as anyone I know and I couldn't be prouder of her. She puts in so much time on the court and she has made the whole Columbus community proud."

Along the way, Chapman and Hangstefer defeated the top three seeds in the tournament. They never dropped a set and only lost two or more games in a set three times.

Chapman graduated from Hardaway High in 2010.

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