GB Team – Ashley Facey Thompson

 

afthompsonbio
Date and place of birth: 31/01/1995, London (Whitechapel)
Home town: London (Stratford)
Lives: London
Family: Mum Pauline
TT Class: 9
Current world ranking: 16
TT Style: attacking
International debut: 2009

 

 

 

RITTO team events end today - @svtst & @tt_ryan1 are into TM9-10 SF with 2-0 QF win v GER; @Lawrjohn15 & @craigallen_tt lost QF v BUL 2-0

About an hour ago from GB Para Table Tennis's Twitter via Twitter Web Client

Ashley’s story

A keen sports fan Ashley started playing table tennis in year 7 at Morpeth School in Bethnal Green, East London and immediately impressed coaches with his talent. “I’d never been told that I was talented before so I thought I might as well give it a shot,” he explains.  “Table tennis felt different right from the beginning.”

 

Having played against GB international Aaron McKibbin in tournaments around England he was called up by the GB Para Table Tennis Team to play a competition in Romania and joined the GB Performance squad in 2009. Although he just missed out on the team for London 2012 he was selected for the Paralympic Inspiration Programme and so visited both the Paralympic venues and village,  an experience that made him even more determined to get to Rio in 2016.

In 2013 Ashley picked up bronze medals in Italy, Hungary and the Czech Republic and represented GB in the European Championships in both singles (class 9) and teams (class 10).

“It was an up and down season,” he admitted, “but I can learn a lot from it. The Europeans were my first major championship and it was a good experience.  I learnt what it takes to be up there with the best players and what it takes to be top ten in the world.”

Ashley started 2014 by winning his first National title in the men’s class 8-9 singles and made a major breakthrough in the team event in Slovakia in May when he came back from 0-2 down and 0-4 in the final set to beat the world number six Juan Bautista Perez from Spain 11-6 in the fifth. He continued to progress and finished the season by taking two bronze medals in the Cote d’Azur International and recording the best win of his career to date with a 3-2 victory over the men’s class 9 world number three from Russia Iurii Nozdrunov.

“I’m happy with the way things are going,” said Ashley. “I’ve been working hard in training, playing better and believing in myself more. Everything is coming together – I’ve got things to work on in training but I’m making progress and I just need to keep on progressing.”

In 2015 Ashley took team medals in Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Germany and reached the quarter-finals of the singles in the European Championships in Denmark with a determined win in the last 16 against the Frenchman Frederic Bellais, showing great character to battle his way back into the match, levelling at 2-2 and then saving three match points at 10-7 down to win the match 12-10 in the fifth.

“When I was 2-0 down I was thinking ‘how can I get back in this match?’” he said. “I wanted to win but I also didn’t want to let myself down. At 10-7 down in the final set I was just thinking play each point – it doesn’t matter what the score is. He’s a good strong player so I was very happy with my performance.”

Ashley finished 2015 by taking silver in the men’s class 9 singles at the Copa Costa Rica and bronze in the men’s class 10 teams, a performance that improved his world ranking to 15 at the end of the qualification period for the 2016 Paralympic Games. Although he missed out on an automatic qualification place by just one point he was first reserve for men’s class 9 and his place in the competition was confirmed in August 2016.

“Words can’t describe how I feel to have the opportunity to represent GB at a Paralympic Games,” he said, “especially for my Mum and my family and everyone who has helped me. I’m really excited but I’m going out there to do a job and represent my country so I’m going to enjoy the experience but also do what I need to do which is play my best table tennis and give it 100%.”

Ashley performed with credit at his first Paralympic Games and reached the quarter-finals of the men’s class 9-10 team competition with Kim Daybell, losing to China.

“It was an amazing experience,” he said. “China are one of the best teams in the world in class 9-10 combined and to play against them in a quarter final in a Paralympic Games was great, especially with Kim. We kept fighting and we can be proud of that. It brings me belief and hope and I’ve got to keep on training and trying to play my table tennis for the next four years.”

Ashley was born with Erbs palsy, which has affected the nerves in the right side of his body, primarily in his arm and shoulder.  One of the team’s band of Arsenal fans, he is also a keen basketball fan and supports the LA Lakers. He is currently combining his table tennis career with studying sports coaching and analysis at London’s South Bank University.

Take 5 with Ashley:

Most admired sportsman – Kobe Bryant

Sporting event you would most like a ticket for – NBA Playoff Finals

Place in the world you would most like to visit – California because the movies are made there

Three words that describe you best – cheeky, funny, happy

Favourite food – my mum’s home cooking

and finally – Ashley won the Canary Wharf Sports Personality of the Year 2012

2016 Results:
Paralympic Games, Rio de Janeiro – QF, men’s teams (class 9-10); group stages, men’s singles (class 9)
Slovakia Open – bronze, men’s teams (class 10); QF, men’s singles (class 9)
Slovenia Open – last 16, men’s singles (class 9); QF men’s teams (class 10)
Lignano Master Open, Italy – group stages, men’s singles (class 9); QF men’s teams (class 9-10)

2015 Results:
Copa Costa Rica – silver, men’s singles (class 9); bronze, men’s teams (class 10)
Belgian Open – silver, men’s teams (class 9); QF, men’s singles (class 9)
European Championships, Vejle, Denmark – QF men’s singles (class 9); QF men’s teams (class 10)
Bayreuth Open, Germany – bronze, men’s teams (class 9); last 16, men’s singles (class 9)
Slovakia Open – bronze, men’s teams (class 9); last 16 men’s singles (class 9)
Slovenia Open – QF men’s singles (class 9); QF men’s teams (class 10)
Lignano Master Open, Italy – bronze men’s teams (class 10); QF men’s singles (class 9)
Hungarian Open – bronze, men’s teams (class 9-10); QF men’s singles (class 9)

2014 Results:
Cote d’Azur International, France – bronze, men’s singles (class 9); bronze, men’s singles (class 9-10)
Slovakia Open – group stages, men’s singles (class 9); group stages, men’s teams (class 9)
Slovenia Open – group stages, men’s singles (class 9); group stages, men’s teams (class 9)
Lignano Master Open, Italy – group stages, men’s singles (class 9); 4th, men’s teams (class 9-10)
National Championships – winner, men’ singles (class 8-9); winner, doubles (mixed class 6-11)

Career Highlights:
2016: Paralympic Games, Rio de Janeiro – QF, men’s teams (class 9-10); group stages, men’s singles (class 9)
2015: Copa Costa Rica – silver, men’s singles (class 9)
European Championships, Vejle, Denmark – QF men’s singles (class 9); QF men’s teams (class 10)
Bayreuth Open, Germany – bronze, men’s teams (class 9)
Slovakia Open – bronze, men’s teams (class 9)
Lignano Master Open, Italy – bronze men’s teams (class 10)
Hungarian Open – bronze, men’s teams (class 9-10)
2014: Cote d’Azur International, France – bronze, men’s singles (class 9); bronze, men’s teams (class 10)
National Championships – winner, men’ singles (class 8-9); winner, doubles (mixed class 6-11)
2013: Lignano Open, Italy – bronze, men’s teams (class 10)
Hungarian Open – bronze, men’s singles (class 9); bronze, men’s teams (class 9)
2011: Bayreuth Open, Germany – gold, men’s teams (class 10)
2010: Lignano Open, Italy – gold, men’s teams (class 10)

Further results are available at: http://www.ipttc.org/players/men/ashley_facey_thompson/index.htm