Davies, Davies and Matthews take team gold in Germany

The British Para Table Tennis Team finished the German Open on a high today when Rob Davies, Tom Matthews and Paul Davies beat World champions Italy to win gold in the men’s class 1 team event. Aaron McKibbin and Ross Wilson took silver in men’s class 8 and 18 year old Megan Shackleton and her Russian team partner Aleksandra Vasileva took silver in women’s class 4-5 and there were bronze medals for Paul Karabardak, Martin Perry and David Wetherill in men’s class 6, Will Bayley and Billy Shilton in men’s class 8 and Ashley Facey Thompson and his German partner Yannick Ruddenklau in men’s class 9.

TM1 gold medallists GermanyThe Welsh trio of Davies, Davies and Matthews won their first three matches in the round-robin men’s class 1 event and their final match against Italy, who were also unbeaten, was to decide the gold. After a marathon doubles that the Italians eventually clinched 3-2 Matthews levelled the tie with a 3-1 win against Federico Falco and Rob Davies secured the gold with 3-0 win against Andrea Borgato, who had beaten him in the final of the Slovenia Open last month.

“It has been a real rollercoaster of emotions for me,” said Rob Davies. “Having played the worst singles event for many years it was a real challenge to pick myself back up for the team event. The boys played great throughout and it was a real team performance. Tom and I won all the doubles except the last against Italy which we lost in the fifth but it was a great match. Tom pulled a top class win out of the bag beating Falco for me to have a chance to play against Borgato. It was just redemption for me having that chance and I loved the opportunity. I played some of my best table tennis to beat him 3-0 to finish off a great team event for all three of us with gold.”

“The singles was a strange competition for me,” said Paul Davies. “I won my group but then lost to Park in the quarter-finals but he went on to win the tournament. The team event was justice at last with Rob, Tom and I beating the Italian team to take the gold so happy days.”

“It was a tough start to the tournament,” said Matthews. “Losing 3-1 to Park and 11-9 in the fifth to Borgato was pretty gutting but it just wasn’t my day. It was great to play alongside Rob and Paul again – we played some great table tennis and we know what we need to do to strengthen our performances but to beat the World champions Italy was a great feeling.”

Aaron & Ross GermanyMcKibbin and Wilson followed their 2-0 quarter-final win against Slovakia with a 2-0 win against Belgium but lost the final to Ukraine 2-0. After another very close doubles that Ukraine took 3-2 Wilson lost out in three close sets 10, 9 and 10 to the World number one Viktor Didukh.

“I was happy to get another medal with Ross,” said McKibbin. “We lost a very close doubles against Ukraine and that is the closest we have got to beating them so we can take confidence into the Europeans that we are on a similar level to them. I can also take confidence from my singles as I lost 12-10 in the fifth to Didukh and played really well so I’m feeling good and know what I need to work on going into the next block of training.”

“I’m really happy to get another medal with Aaron,” said Wilson, who won gold in the singles. “Overall the competition has been encouraging and I can’t wait to put the work in now before the Europeans and hope I can do everyone proud there.”

Megan Shackleton & Vasileva GermanyShackleton and Vasileva came through their group and reached the final with a 2-0 win against Germany, combining really well to win the doubles 3-2 before Vasileva beat Sandra Mikolaschek 3-1. In the final they fought hard but lost the doubles 12-10 in the fifth to the Korean Young A Jung and Pui Yi Wong from Hong Kong and class 4 Shackleton was beaten 3-0 by the class 5 World number four Jung.

“The start of the tournament was very frustrating for me,” said Shackleton, “as I struggled to find my best form. As the tournament went on though I feel that I dug deep and managed to pull out some better performances. To win silver with Aleksandra has given me confidence that I can be resilient when I don’t feel at my best.”

Bayley and Shilton had a great win over London 2012 champions Poland in the quarter-finals but found Ukraine too strong in the semi-finals. Karabardak and Perry lost their semi-final to European champions Denmark and Facey Thompson and Ruddenklau were beaten 2-0 in their semi-final by Italy.

“I’m very happy with my performance here,” said Bayley, “although I have 30% more to improve and it was not perfect. I have to do better in a lot of areas and I’m looking forward to working on those things in the coming months.”

“I was really pleased to get another medal in the team event,” said Shilton. “I brought my form across from singles into team and was really pleased with how everything went especially the doubles. The highlight for me was the win against Poland and to beat them so convincingly was really good. It was great to play with Will again as I learn so much from him every time we play and he’s a great role model.”

Martin Perry & Paul Karabardak Germany“I feel I’ve had a really good competition,” said Perry. ”I had a great run getting to the semi-final in the singles and losing so narrowly, 17-15 in the fifth. I feel that I’m playing some really good table tennis and it was great to get another team medal with Paul and Dave. We’re proving that we are a really strong team and can play any order of the three of us. It’s a great team to be a part of; having such strength and depth gives us an edge and it’s a great team spirit amongst us. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season now.

“I felt that I played really well to win my singles group,” said Karabardak, “although I didn’t play quite to the standard I want in the quarter-final but lost out to a great player who is in the form of his life. I’m really pleased with team bronze; Martin and I had some fantastic wins in the doubles and maybe deserved a bit more but on the whole it was a good team performance.”

“This was my first competition since finishing my degree,” said Facey Thompson, “so it was good just to be able to focus on table tennis. It was an OK performance overall – I lost a very tight match to the bronze medallist in Rio 3-2 and had chances as well. I have a lot of things to work on in training and although there were ups and downs I was happy with bronze in the team event.”

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British team assured of five team medals in Germany

The British Para Table Tennis Team is assured of at least five medals in the PTT Bayreuth German Open tomorrow with Megan Shackleton and Russian partner Aleksandra Vasileva (women’s class 4-5), Paul Karabardak and Martin Perry (men’s class 6), Aaron McKibbin and Ross Wilson (men’s class 8), Will Bayley and Billy Shilton (men’s class 8) and Ashley Facey Thompson with German partner Yannick Ruddenklau (men’s class 9) all reaching the semi-finals.

Billy Shilton and Will Bayley Slovenia OpenBayley and Shilton put up a great performance in the men’s class 8 quarter-finals to beat Poland 2-1, winning the doubles 3-0 before Bayley came through the deciding singles against former European champion Marcin Skrzynecki 15-13 in the fifth. Wilson also battled to a 3-2 win against former World champion Richard Csejtey in a repeat of their singles final yesterday to clinch a 2-0 quarter-final win against Slovakia after he and McKibbin had won the doubles 3-0.

In the round-robin men’s class 1 Rob Davies, Paul Davies and Tom Matthews won both their matches today 2-0 against Korea/Argentina and 2-1 against Russia/France. They play their final two matches tomorrow against Switzerland/Germany and World champions Italy.

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Bayley and Wilson take gold in Germany

Paralympic champion Will Bayley and Rio team medallist Ross Wilson won gold today in their respective singles events at the PTT Bayreuth Open in Germany and Martin Perry took bronze.

Will Bayley BPTT Nationals 3Bayley reached the final of the men’s class 7 singles without dropping a set – topping his group and beating Miroslav Jambor from Slovakia in the quarter-finals and Kazuya Kaneko from Japan in the semi-final to set up a final clash with Maksym Nikolenko, the Ukrainian who had replaced Bayley as World number one earlier this month.

Nikolenko took the first two sets but 29 year old Bayley fought back tenaciously to win the next three 7, 6 and 4 and take the match 3-2.

“I’m so happy to win the gold,” said Bayley. “It was amazing to have coach Andrew Rushton in my corner and the gold medal was a perfect end to a very good singles performance. At 2-0 down in the final I changed my tactics and started to play more positively. After he dominated the first two sets I managed to dominate the last three.”

Ross Wilson BPTT Nationals 2Wilson was equally impressive in reaching the final of men’s class 8 – topping his group and winning both his quarter-final against Marcin Skrzynecki from Poland and his semi-final against the Ukrainian Ivan Mai from Ukraine 3-0. In the final he faced former World champion Richard Csejtey from Slovakia who had beaten World number one Viktor Didukh in the semi-finals and 21 year old Wilson also fought back from 2-1 down to take the match 11-3 in the fifth.

“I’ve had a really good competition,” said Wilson. “I’ve been training really hard and it’s gone well so I’m very happy. At 2-1 down in the final I changed a few things and got myself back into it. It’s nice to be back on top and winning again and I hopefully I can continue that form. We’ve done well here as a team so that is a positive going forward.”

Martin PerryPerry, 23, came through some tough matches on the way to the semi-final of men’s class 6 including a 3-2 win against Tim Laue from Germany in the quarter-finals. Against the Frenchman Bastien Grundeler he led 2-1 but eventually lost the match 17-15 in the fifth.

“I feel that I have had a very good competition,” said Perry. “I played some good stuff so it is all very positive. It was disappointing to lose the semi-final but when a match is that tight you’ve just got to say it was a great match and Bastien is a very good player. I’ve played three factor 40 competitions this year and reached the semi-final in two of them so I’ve got to be happy with that.”

Aaron McKibbin put up a great fight in his men’s class 8 quarter-final against World champion Didukh before losing 12-10 in the fifth while 18 year old Billy Shilton lost in three close sets to Csejtey. In men’s class 6 Paul Karabardak lost his quarter-final to the eventual gold medallist Ian Seidenfeld from the USA 3-0 and David Wetherill was beaten 3-1 by Grundeler. Ashley Facey-Thompson also lost a close quarter-final in men’s class 9 to the Italian Mohamed Kalem 3-2 and Paul Davies was beaten in his men’s class 1 quarter-final by Sung Joo Park from Korea who went on to take the gold.

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Nine British players into quarter-finals at German Open

Nine British players including men’s class 7 Paralympic champion Will Bayley are through to the quarter-finals tomorrow in the singles events at the PTT Bayreuth Open in Germany. Bayley is joined by Paul Davies (men’s class 1), Paul Karabardak, Martin Perry and David Wetherill (men’s class 6), Aaron McKibbin, Billy Shilton and Ross Wilson (men’s class 8) and Ashley Facey Thompson (men’s class 9).

Bayley was a comfortable 3-0 winner against Vladimir Anikanov from Russia and secured top spot in his group with a 3-0 defeat of Masachika Inoue from Japan. He plays Miroslav Jambor from Slovakia in the quarter-finals and is on course for a semi-final match against the Brazilian Israel Pereira Stroh in what would be a repeat of their Rio final.

Billy Shilton GermanyShilton was 2-1 up against Piotr Grudzien in his first match but the Rio bronze medallist from Poland came back to win 3-2. A 3-1 win against Aleksai Saunin from Russia left Shilton top of the group after Saunin defeated Grudzien which meant the placings were decided on countback. He took on the Belgian Mathieu Loicq in the last 16 and after losing the first set the 18 year old fought back to beat the former World and Paralympic champion 3-1 to earn a quarter-final against another former World champion Richard Csejtey from Slovakia.

Wilson came through his group with three wins from three against Hiromi Sato from Japan 3-0, the Italian Samuel de Chiara 3-0 and the American Navin Kumar 3-0. He went on to beat the Russian Artem Iakovlev in the last 16 and will play Marcin Skrzynecki from Poland for a place in the semi-finals.

McKibbin was also in good form today with 3-0 wins against Roy Van Der Burg from Netherlands, the Belgian Marc Ledoux and Patrik Vaughan from Ireland. He came through his last 16 match against Johanes Urban from Germany 3-1 and will face the World number one Viktor Didukh in the quarter-finals.

Facey Thompson got the British squad off to a perfect start this morning with a 3-0 win against Hussein Hussein Hassan from Egypt. He lost a close match to Esa Miettinen from Finland 14-12 in the fourth but booked his place in the quarter-finals tomorrow with a 3-0 win against Takuya Nakajima from Japan.

Karabardak won his first match against the American Ari Arratia 3-0 and then beat the higher ranked Frenchman Bastien Grundeler 3-0. He topped his group with a 3-1 win against Thomasz Kusiak from Germany and will play the talented young American Ian Seidenfeld in the quarter-finals.

Martin Perry v Ibrahim Hamadtou GermanyPerry took a set off Peter Rosenmeier in his first match but the Paralympic champion from Denmark recorded a 3-1 win. However, Perry claimed second place in his group with a 3-1 win against Ibrahim Hamadtou from Egypt and a 3-2 win against the Russian Alexander Esaulov, showing all his battling qualities to come back from 2-0 down to win 11-9 in the fifth. The Scotsman plays Tim Laue from Germany in tomorrow’s quarter-finals.

Wetherill started with a 3-0 win against Valentin Kneuss from Switzerland but had to work harder to defeat Danny Bobrov from Israel 3-2. He also topped his group with a 3-1 win against Klaus Mewes from Germany and will play Grundeler in the quarter-finals.

In men’s class 1 Rob Davies had a rare off day and could not find his form against Sylvio Keller from Switzerland, who came from 2-1 down against the Welshman to win 3-2, or the young Italian Federico Falco who inflicted a 3-1 defeat on the Paralympic champion.

Paul Davies enjoyed a walkover in his first match after the withdrawal of Walter Kilger from Germany and then beat the Russian Dmitry Lavrov 3-0. After losing a tight first set to Guillermo Bustamante Sierra 15-13 he levelled at 1-1 but the Argentinian went on to take the match 3-1 to top the group with Davies taking second place and going through to the quarter-finals where he will play the Korean Sung Joo Park.

Fellow Welshman and team partner Tom Matthews lost his first match in four close sets to Park and a 3-2 loss to Andrea Borgato from Italy put him out of the singles despite a 3-0 win against the Frenchman Alan Papirer in his final group match.

Fliss Pickard Germany 2Fliss Pickard had a tough group in women’s class 6 but bounced back from an opening 3-0 loss to the Russian World number three Raisa Chebanika with a 3-0 win against Oi Man Lam from Macau. She then produced a great performance to beat the World number five Antonina Khodzynskaya from Ukraine 3-1 but with three players level on two wins the group was decided on countback and Pickard was very unlucky to lose out with Chebanika and Khodzynskaya going through to the knockout stages.

Megan Shackleton, 18, narrowly lost the battle of the teenagers in women’s class 4 when 17 year old Irem Oluk from Turkey took their match 3-2. A 3-0 loss to Paralympic bronze medallist and World number five Nada Matic from Serbia left Shackleton with too much to do and despite a 3-0 win against the Austrian Helke Koller she finished in third place in the group and did not progress to the knockout stages.

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Bayley and Davies head GB Squad for German Open

Paralympic champions Will Bayley and Rob Davies head a team of 13 British athletes that will compete in this week’s PTT Bayreuth Open in Germany. The squad also includes Rio team bronze medallists Aaron McKibbin and Ross Wilson as well as recent World Team medallists Paul Davies, Tom Matthews, David Wetherill, Paul Karabardak, Martin Perry and Megan Shackleton.

Will Bayley BPTT NationalsBayley took bronze in the Slovenia Open last month – his first international competition since the Rio Paralympic Games – and is hoping to build on that performance in Germany.

“Training has been going really well,” he said. “I’m playing well and practising hard. I was a bit disappointed with the way I played in Slovenia but it was good to get some match practice under my belt and feel that I can progress and start to play some of my best table tennis. I’m hoping to have a good run in the singles in Germany; it will be a tough tournament because there are lots of good players so I’ll take it one match at a time and hopefully get some good match practice and get some confidence before the Europeans.”

Rob Davies Slovakia Open 2016Davies was beaten in the final of the Slovenia Open by the experienced Italian Andrea Borgato and is focused on retaining his European title in September.

“Training has been going pretty well,” said the Welshman. “I’ve just been enjoying my table tennis and trying to improve my level. I was quite happy with Slovenia – it was my first competition since Rio and I didn’t expect to get to the final if I’m truthful so I was happy with silver and I’d like to go one better in Germany. I’m going there to have fun, enjoy my table tennis and do my best. Hopefully that will take me to the final – that is where I want to be and winning the gold medal if possible.”

“Germany will be a tough test for the players,” said British Para Table Tennis Team Performance Director, Gorazd Vecko. “We are preparing them for the European Championships in September so this is still early in the season but performances here will show us how we stand with the other nations and what we need to work on over the next few months.”

The full squad is:

Rob Davies – Class 1 (Brecon)
Paul Davies – Class 1 (North Cornelly)
Tom Matthews – Class 1 (Aberdare)
Megan Shackleton – Class 4 (Todmorden)
Paul Karabardak – Class 6 (Swansea)
Martin Perry – Class 6 (Paisley/Sheffield)
David Wetherill – Class 6 (Torpoint)
Fliss Pickard – Class 6 (Burnley)
Will Bayley – Class 7 (Tunbridge Wells/Sheffield)
Aaron McKibbin – Class 8 (London/Sheffield)
Billy Shilton – Class 8 (Stonehouse/Sheffield)
Ross Wilson – Class 8 (Minster/Sheffield)
Ashley Facey Thompson – Class 9 (London)

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Golden finish for GB in Spain

A young British squad of Pathway and Development players finished the 2017 PTT Spanish Open Ciutat del Prat on a high today with Alex Bland and Lee Wilkinson taking gold in the men’s class 7 team event. Lucie Bouron and Sweden’s Anna-carin Ahlquist took silver in women’s class 2-5 and Marc Bonnar crowned his international debut with a bronze medal in the men’s 1-2 team event with Argentinian partner Guillermo Bustamante Sierra.

Alex Bland 3Lee Wilkinson2Bland and Wilkinson won their first two matches in the round-robin men’s class 7 event against Norway/Austria (2-1) and Spain (2-0). Their final match against Sweden was to decide the gold and they defeated Sam Gustafsson and Noah Olsson 2-0 to add the gold to the bronze medals they won in the singles.

“I thought Lee and I worked well together as a team,” said Bland, “and we deserved the gold which we earned partly by playing a great doubles match in our gold medal match against Sweden.”

“I thought Alex and I did well considering we hadn’t played together before,” agreed Wilkinson. “I enjoyed playing with Alex and we worked well together in the doubles.”

Lucie BouronBouron and her illustrious partner Ahlquist, the class 3 World number one, topped their group in women’s class 2-5 with 2-0 wins against Thailand and a combined team from Thailand and the USA. They came through their semi-final against France 2-0 but found the Brazilian partnership of Joyce Oliveira and Catia Da Silva Oliveira just too strong in the final.

“I’m really pleased with our silver medal after a well-fought final against Brazil,” said Bouron. “It was a great experience playing with such a World class player as Anna-carin as my partner and it has helped me to learn which areas that I can work on to reach the level I want.”

Marc BonnarBonnar and Bustamente Sierra began with a 2-0 win against Chinese Taipei followed by a 2-0 loss to Thailand but they progressed from the group in second place with a 2-1 win against France. They lost to the Irish/Spanish combination of Colin Judge and Miguel Toledo in the semi-final 2-0 but Bonnar can be very proud of taking a medal in his first international event.

“Coming to Barcelona was valuable for my development,” he said. “Gaining experience at an international tournament and being able to play a variety of class 2 players has given me an idea of what is expected. We had a strong team event with some very close games and taking bronze in my first international has given me a lot of motivation to move forward.”

Dan Bullen, silver medallist in the men’s class 5 singles, was out of luck in the team event as he and partner Tommy Urhaug progressed from their group thanks to a 2-1 win against Russia but were knocked out in the quarter-finals by the first Chinese Taipei team (2-0).

Conor McAdam and Junki Itai from Japan finished third in the round-robin men’s class 6 team with one win from three matches – 2-0 against Ireland – but only two medals were awarded.

In men’s class 8 Declan Tobin and Irishman Patrik Vaughan lost their matches to Sweden, Japan, Indonesia and Norway 2-0 while Craig Allen and Elliott Medland went out of men’s class 10 at the group stages after a 2-0 loss to Japan and a 2-1 loss to Spain.

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Three singles medals for GB in Spanish Open

Dan Bullen put up a great performance at the 2017 PTT Spanish Open Ciutat del Prat today taking silver in the men’s class 5 singles and there were bronze medals for Alex Bland and Lee Wilkinson in the men’s class 7 singles.

Bullen had topped his group yesterday with 3-0 wins against the Frenchman Philippe Durieux and Kamon Sayjan from Thailand and the 19 year old from St Neots fought back well to beat David Olsson from Sweden in the semi-final 3-2. His reward was a final against the former Paralympic and World champion Tommy Urhaug and although Bullen took the third set the Norwegian used his experience to secure a 3-1 win.

Bland lost his first group match to the very experienced Spaniard Jordi Morales but progressed from his group with a 3-1 win against Noah Olsson from Sweden. The 17 year old from Rotherham won his quarter-final against Markus Koteng from Norway 3-0 but found Kazuya Kaneko from Japan too good in the semi-final, losing 3-0.

Wilkinson lost to Kaneko in the group but won his second match against Sam Gustafsson from Sweden 3-1. After beating the Austrian Andreas Thomasberger 3-0 in the quarter-finals yesterday the 24 year old from Evesham faced former World number two Morales in today’s semi-finals and the Spaniard took the match 3-0 before going on to take the gold.

The competition continues with the team event that concludes tomorrow.

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Three GB players through to Spanish Open semi-finals

Dan Bullen (men’s class 5), Alex Bland and Lee Wilkinson (men’s class 7) are all through to semi-finals tomorrow in the singles at the 2017 PTT Spanish Open Ciutat del Prat.

Bullen topped his group with 3-0 wins against the Frenchman Philippe Durieux and Kamon Sayjan from Thailand and plays David Olsson from Sweden in the semi-final.

Bland lost his first match to the very experienced Spaniard Jordi Morales but progressed from his group with a 3-1 win against Noah Olsson from Sweden. He won his quarter-final against Markus Koteng from Norway 3-0 and will play Kazuya Kaneko from Japan in the semi-final.

Wilkinson lost to Kaneko in the group but won his second match against Sam Gustafsson from Sweden 3-1 and will face former World number two Morales in the semi-finals after beating the Austrian Andreas Thomasberger 3-0 in the quarter-finals.

Craig Allen progressed from his group in men’s class 9 with a 3-1 win against Shaquille Rivera Vicente from Puerta Rico but understandably found the Spanish World number seven Juan Perez Gonzalez too experienced in a 3-0 quarter-final loss.

Conor McAdam had a tough group in men’s class 6 and although he lost all three of his matches he had the satisfaction of taking the third set 16-14 against the World number one and World champion Alvaro Valera.

It was also a tough day for Lucie Bouron (women’s class 2-3), Marc Bonnar (men’s class 2), Declan Tobin (men’s class 8) and Elliott Medland (men’s class 10) and they all went out at the group stages but can look forward to the team competition.

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McAdam takes gold in Spain

Young British Pathway athlete Conor McAdam took gold in the men’s class 6-7 singles in the PTT Spanish Junior (U23) Tournament today in El Prat de Llobregat, with Development athlete Alex Bland taking bronze.

Bland, from Rotherham, had topped his group in men’s class 6-7 yesterday with wins against the American Ari Arratia 3-0 and Noah Olsson from Sweden 3-1. McAdam lost his first group match to Conor O’Callaghan from Ireland 3-0 but went through to an all-British semi-final against Bland with a 3-0 win against class 7 player Sam Gustafsson from Sweden.

MCADAM Conor Kenneth Lignano Junior OpenIn today’s semi-final it was 19 year old McAdam, from Dundonald, who came out on top with a 3-1 win against 17 year old Bland. In the final McAdam avenged his defeat yesterday to O’Callaghan, beating the Irishman 3-0 to take the gold – a great performance from the class 6 player.

“I thought I played better today than yesterday,” said McAdam. “I felt I was more focused and ready to play well. I’m really happy with the outcome, especially after coming through some challenging matches.”

Alex Bland“This was my best performance internationally,” said Bland, “including winning my first match against a seeded player and my first medal so I am happy with what I have achieved, which is largely down to me putting less pressure on myself.”

McAdam and Bland will join seven other British players in the senior tournament that starts tomorrow.

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Bullen and Allen take silver in Spanish Junior Tournament

British Pathway squad players Dan Bullen and Craig Allen took silver in their respective classes at the PTT Spanish Junior Tournament today in El Prat de Llobregat. Alex Bland and Conor McAdam progressed from their group in men’s class 6-7 and will play each other in the semi-finals tomorrow.

BULLEN Daniel Lignano Junior OpenBullen began the round-robin men’s class 5 singles with a 1-3 loss to the eventual gold medallist David Olsson from Sweden but the 19 year old from St Neots clinched the silver medal with 3-0 wins against Kamon Sayjan and his compatriot from Thailand Teeradech Klangmanee.

“It has been a good event for me getting the silver,” said Bullen. “It was a slow start against David but when I got going I was playing well and got the job done. Overall it was a good day and I’m looking forward to the start of the senior tournament on Friday.”

ALLEN Craig Mark Lignano Junior OpenAllen had two hard-fought 3-2 wins against Takumi Tsujimura from Japan and Ali Alsanea from Kuwait in the round-robin men’s class 9 but his match against Shaquille Rivera Vicente proved decisive with the Puerta Rican taking it 3-1 and going on to win the gold medal.

“After losing a tough first match I managed to pull through mentally and win both of my last two matches that went to five sets,” said the 22 year old from Bromsgrove. “I played well so I’m feeling good for the senior tournament.”

Bland topped his group in men’s class 6-7 with wins against the American Ari Arratia 3-0 and Noah Olsson from Sweden 3-1. McAdam lost his first group match to Conor O’Callaghan from Ireland 0-3 but earned his semi-final place with a 3-0 win against Sam Gustafsson from Sweden.

In men’s class 8 neither Declan Tobin or Euan McLaughlin came through their group although McLaughlin came very close to winning his second match against Iver Christiansen, eventually losing to the Norwegian 9-11 in the fifth. Elliot Medland was also knocked out of men’s class 10 at the group stage after losses to Bunpot Sillapakong from Thailand and the Spaniard Edgar Mataro.

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