GB Team – Paul Karabardak

 

pkarabardakbio
Date and place of birth: 03/10/1985, Swansea
Home town: Swansea
Lives: Swansea
Family: Mum Helen, brother Huseyin, nephew Mason
TT Class: 6
Current world ranking: 7
TT Style: all-round
International debut: 2001, Frankfurt

6 team medals in Germany - 1 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze: bttad.org/davies-davies-……-gold-in-germany/ 🥇🥈🥉 @TNLUKtwitter.com/i/web/status/8…

About 6 days ago from GB Para Table Tennis's Twitter via Twitter Web Client

Paul’s story:

Paul was a keen footballer until he suffered a massive stroke at the age of ten and was subsequently introduced to table tennis at a local disabled youth club. “As I could no longer play football I felt lost without sport and bored with nothing to do,” recalls Paul. “My mum found out about a club for disabled people called Friends of the Young Disabled. One day I started playing table tennis and just loved it. I went to a local sports shop and bought a table tennis bat, case and a few balls and started playing three times a week. I enjoy table tennis because it’s great fun, really challenging mentally and physically and it is a sport anyone can enjoy.”

Within two years Paul was playing for the local Swansea League and progressed through the leagues before being selected to play for the GB Para Table Tennis Team at the age of 16 in the European Championships, winning a team bronze medal. He has since represented GB at World Championships and three Paralympic Games – Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016.

Although Paul enjoyed being part of ParalympicsGB at London 2012 he admits to being disappointed that he did not progress beyond the group stages of the competition. “London2012 was an amazing experience in terms of the crowds, Paralympic village, venues and competition,” he says, “but in terms of performance I didn’t play anywhere near the standard I can or wanted to.”

In 2013 Paul picked up medals in Hungary, Slovenia and Slovakia and represented GB in the European Championships in Italy, taking a bronze in the men’s class 7 team event with Will Bayley.  He then went to the US Open in San Diego in December and produced his best table tennis of the year to take the gold medal in the men’s class 7 singles, beating former Paralympic champion Mitchell Seidenfeld of the USA in the final, and then combined with Beijing and London Paralympic champion Jochen Wollmert from Germany to win the men’s class 6-7 team event.

In 2014 Paul won team gold in Slovenia and team silver in Italy and Slovakia and then achieved one of his ambitions when he combined with Will Bayley to win a bronze medal in the men’s 6-7 team event at the World Championships in China.

“I’d never won a World Championship medal before so it was a great moment for me,” says Paul.

At the start of the 2015 season Paul was reclassified as a class 6 athlete and he took gold in the singles in Hungary and Slovenia and silver in Italy.  He reached the semi-finals of the European Championships in Denmark, losing a very close match to the reigning European and former World and Paralympic champion Peter Rosenmeier, who was supported by an enthusiastic home crowd.

“I played about as good as I could play and credit to him he also played very well,” said Paul after the match. “My aim was a medal which I’ve got so although I’m disappointed at the moment I’m sure when I’ve reflected I’ll be happy with my performance and my efforts.”

Paul then combined with new team partner David Wetherill to take silver in the team event after losing in the final to Denmark and went in to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio hoping to win his first Paralympic medal. However, on a hot and humid day in Riocentro3 he was unable to produce his best and was very disappointed to go out of the men’s class 6 singles at the group stages after losing both of his matches 3-2.

Paul is in no doubt what sport brings to his life. “It gives you a chance to see the world, make amazing friends and be the absolute best you can be. Our disability is the shackles and chains that imprison us; sport is what sets us free.”

Take 5 with Paul:

Most admired sportsman – Sir Chris Hoy

Sporting event you would most like a ticket for – Swansea v Cardiff

Three famous people you would most like to have a drink with – The Rock, Johnny Depp, David Beckham

Three words that describe you best- funny, laid-back, quiet

Hobbies – football (Swansea City), movies, walking my dog Tinks, music, TV and playing on my PS3

and finally – Paul’s superstition means he never shaves during a competition

2017 Results:
World Team Championships, Slovakia – bronze, men’s class 6
Lignano Master Open, Italy – gold, men’s singles (class 6)

2016 Results:
Paralympic Games, Rio de Janeiro – group stages, men’s singles (class 6)
Slovenia Open – bronze, men’s teams (class 6); last 16, men’s singles (class 6)
Lignano Master Open, Italy – bronze, men’s singles (class 6); silver, men’s teams (class 6)

2015 Results:
European Championships, Vejle, Denmark – bronze, men’s singles (class 6); silver, men’s teams (class 6)
Slovakia Open – QF men’s singles (class 6); QF men’s teams (class 6)
Slovenia Open – gold, men’s singles (class 6); QF men’s teams (class 6)
Lignano Master Open, Italy – silver, men’s singles (class 6); 4th men’s teams (class 6)
Hungarian Open – gold, men’s singles (class 6); gold, men’s teams (class 6-7)

2014 Results:
World Championships, Beijing, China – bronze medal, men’s teams (class 6-7); group stages, men’s singles (class 7)
Slovakia Open – silver, men’s teams (class 7); QF men’s singles (class 7)
Slovenia Open – gold, men’s teams (class 7); last 16 men’s singles (class 7)
Lignano Master Open, Italy – silver, men’s teams (class 6-7); group stages, men’s singles (class 7);

Career Highlights:
2017: World Team Championships, Slovakia – bronze, men’s class 6
2015: European Championships, Vejle, Denmark – bronze, men’s singles (class 6); silver, men’s teams (class 6)
Slovenia Open – gold, men’s singles (class 6)
Hungarian Open – gold, men’s singles (class 6); gold, men’s teams (class 6-7)
2014: World Championships, Beijing, China – bronze medal, men’s teams (class 6-7)
Slovenia Open – gold, men’s teams (class 7)
2013: US Open, San Diego – gold, men’s singles (class 7); gold, men’s teams (class 6-7)
European Championships, Lignano, Italy – bronze, men’s teams (class 7)
2011: European Championships, Split, Croatia – silver, men’s teams (class 7)
2009: European Championships, Genoa, Italy – bronze, men’s singles (class 7)
2001: European Championships, Frankfurt, Germany – bronze, men’s teams (class 7)

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