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Ex-CSU, Hardaway standout wins silver medal in deaf tennis

Former Columbus State and Hardaway High tennis player Laura Chapman helped Team USA win the silver medal in the 2014 Maere Cup, an international women's competition for hearing-impaired tennis players, in Chattanooga, Tenn., last week.

The competition comprised two singles matches and one doubles match when the 13 represented countries played each other in a round-robin format.

On July 14, Team USA defeated Germany 2-0 as Chapman beat Vanessa Krieg 6-4, 6-1 at No. 2 singles, and Emily Hangstefer of Signal Mountain, Tenn., beat Heike Albrecht 6-5, retired. The doubles match wasn't played.

On July 15, Team USA defeated Britain 3-0. Chapman beat Beth Simmons 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 singes, and Hangstefer beat Bethany Brookes 6-4, 6-1 at No. 1 singles. They beat sisters Alex and Beth Simmons 6-0, 6-4 in doubles.

On July 16, Team USA defeated Russia 2-0. Chapman beat Anastasia Grin 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2 singles, and Hangstefer beat Anastasia Chumak 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 singles. The doubles match wasn't played.

In the semifinals July 18, Team USA defeated Spain 2-0. Chapman beat Raquel Villamandos 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 at No. 2 singles, and Hangstefer beat Beatrice Villamandos 6-3, 6-3 at No. 1 singles. The doubles match wasn't played.

In the final July 19, Team USA lost 2-1 to Chinese Taipei. Chapman lost at No. 2 singles 6-2, 7-5, but Hangstefer won her No. 1 singles 6-4, 6-0. So the championship came down to doubles, where Chinese Taipei rallied to beat Chapman and Hangstefer 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Chapman and Hangstefer won the gold medal in women's doubles at the 2013 Deaf Olympics in Sofia, Bulgaria, defeating Chinese Taipei in the final match.

Athletes with a hearing loss of 55 decibels or greater in their better ear are eligible to participate in international competition for the deaf. All athletes must remove any hearing apparatus before entering the court for any match.

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