GB team ready to take on the world in Rio

World champion Will Bayley says that the squad of 13 GB players selected to compete in the 2016 Paralympic Games is “well prepared and ready together to take on the world.”

Here are the thoughts of the squad as they prepare to leave for Rio later this week.

Will Bayley – competing in men’s class 7 singles (SM7) and men’s class 6-8 team (TM6-8)
20160307 Copyright onEdition 2016© Free for editorial use image, please credit: onEdition British Table Tennis Player Will Bayley from Poole who has been named as a member of ParalympicsGB. ParalympicsGB is the name for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Paralympic Team that competes at the summer and winter Paralympic Games. The Team is selected and managed by the British Paralympic Association, in conjunction with the national governing bodies, and is made up of the best sportsmen and women who compete in the 22 summer and 4 winter sports on the Paralympic Programme. Media enquiries for ParalympicsGB should be addressed to the ParalympicsGB Press Office T: 07717 587 055 E: press@paralympics.org.uk If you require a higher resolution image or you have any other onEdition photographic enquiries, please contact onEdition on 0845 900 2 900 or email info@onEdition.com This image is copyright onEdition 2016©. This image has been supplied by onEdition and must be credited onEdition. The author is asserting his full Moral rights in relation to the publication of this image. Rights for onward transmission of any image or file is not granted or implied. Changing or deleting Copyright information is illegal as specified in the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988. If you are in any way unsure of your right to publish this image please contact onEdition on 0845 900 2 900 or email info@onEdition.com“I’m delighted with my preparation. I had the best training camp in Slovenia that I’ve ever had. I was really focused and worked really hard. I’ve just got to go out there now and do the business. I just want to get started and get into the tournament. I feel that I have prepared more diligently for this Games than any other tournament I’ve ever played in. I’ve worked really hard with my coaches in the last few months to really nail what we are going to do. I feel great and so well prepared. I’m really confident that not just me but the whole team are going to perform well for GB.”

Jane Campbell – SF3 and TF1-3
20160307 Copyright onEdition 2016© “Preparation has been building and building and I feel as though I am just about peaking at the right time. We had a training camp in Slovenia with lots of teams from other countries so it gives you a lot of variation and I find it also increases the pressure a bit and gets you used to dealing with more stressful situations. I want to try to avoid going in to Rio with too many expectations and accept that we need to play our very best – the standard is exceptionally high and to come away with another medal would be amazing but we can only play the best we can. Representing GB at a Paralympic Games means the world to me – it is such an honour and I’m immensely proud to be representing my country again.”

Paul Davies – SM1 and TM1-2
20160307 Copyright onEdition 2016© “Preparation is going really well – I’m training hard as usual and I’m on target after recovering from injury so I can’t wait – bring it on. In London the public was behind us whereas in Rio they will be behind the Brazilians which is understandable. If I can block out 6,000 people in the Excel in London then it is not going to bother me in Rio no matter how noisy the crowd is. I’m looking forward to the challenge. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want to bring home a medal but getting selected is an achievement after what I’ve been through so a medal would be the icing on the cake.”

Rob Davies – SM1 and TM1-2
20160307 Copyright onEdition 2016© “I’m really happy with how everything has gone with my preparation. I don’t think it could have been any better – everything has come on in leaps and bounds. The coaches and the rest of the team behind the team have upped their level as well and that has made a massive difference and I’m hoping that is going to make a difference out in Rio. I’m feeling fit and ready and I want to get out there now. I’m in a completely different place to where I was in London – I’ve got to use that disappointment of the loss I had there to fire myself up. I don’t want to be in that position again. I’m looking forward to going out there and making it a different ending.”

 Kim Daybell – SM10 and TM9-10
20160307 Copyright onEdition 2016© “I feel the best prepared physically and mentally that I can be going in to Rio. The experience of London is going to help massively. I thought I was ready for London but we’ve come a long way since then – particularly off the table. Everything surrounding us is really professional and every part of our lives is taken care of and I feel that we are in good shape. Having been able to train full time in the last year I have really been challenging the best players; I’ve beaten some of the top players and I feel comfortable in their company and I think that puts me in good stead. We’ve all got lots of expectations but I just want to go and do myself proud and my country proud. I want to play at the level I know I can play at and if I do that I don’t see why I can’t be in among the medals.”

Ashley Facey Thompson – SM9 and TM9-10
Ashley Facey-Thompson portrait“It was frustrating to miss out on qualification by one point and now to be in the team for Rio is amazing. I’ve been training with the rest of the team throughout the summer so I feel prepared but now I’ve been selected and I’m in the team I feel really happy. The Paralympic Inspiration Programme in London helped me a lot and that was great preparation for Rio but to be a Paralympian is going to be great. Words can’t describe how I feel to have the opportunity to represent GB at a Paralympic Games – 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%.”

Sue Gilroy – SF4
20160307 Copyright onEdition 2016© “The top six or seven players (in my class) are all the same standard. It is a very mentally tough sport and it is basically about who is toughest on the day. Obviously winning a medal would be a career highlight. I’ve won World silver and bronze and been European champion and double Commonwealth champion but this is the only one that has always eluded me. But all I can do is my best. I’m playing the best table tennis of my career – I beat the World number one last year and in the World Championships in 2014 to get silver and I’ve been very close to the Chinese players so fingers crossed I can get that medal this time.”

Sara Head – SF3 and TF1-3
20160307 Copyright onEdition 2016© “Preparation has been going extremely well and I’m actually feeling more ready than I have ever felt. I think that London was such an exhilarating experience but it was also a massive learning curve and I really feel that the experience of London is still benefiting me and helping me in my preparation for Rio. It hasn’t been the two years of preparation that I would have liked, due to injury and illness, but I am playing better than I was before London so that is giving me confidence and I can’t wait to go to Rio now. I want to perform my best – if I go out there and perform my best and do everything the way I want then anything can happen.”

Jack Hunter-Spivey – SM5
20160307 Copyright onEdition 2016© Free for editorial use image, please credit: onEdition British Table Tennis Player Jack Hunter-Spivey from Liverpool who has been named as a member of ParalympicsGB. ParalympicsGB is the name for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Paralympic Team that competes at the summer and winter Paralympic Games. The Team is selected and managed by the British Paralympic Association, in conjunction with the national governing bodies, and is made up of the best sportsmen and women who compete in the 22 summer and 4 winter sports on the Paralympic Programme. Media enquiries for ParalympicsGB should be addressed to the ParalympicsGB Press Office T: 07717 587 055 E: press@paralympics.org.uk If you require a higher resolution image or you have any other onEdition photographic enquiries, please contact onEdition on 0845 900 2 900 or email info@onEdition.com This image is copyright onEdition 2016©. This image has been supplied by onEdition and must be credited onEdition. The author is asserting his full Moral rights in relation to the publication of this image. Rights for onward transmission of any image or file is not granted or implied. Changing or deleting Copyright information is illegal as specified in the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988. If you are in any way unsure of your right to publish this image please contact onEdition on 0845 900 2 900 or email info@onEdition.com“Preparation has been going really well. Tommy (Urhaug) was in Sheffield last week training with me – he won gold in London so that was really good practice for me for the Games and I couldn’t be in a better situation really. The Paralympic Inspiration Programme in London was a massive influence on me and it gave me a big fire in my belly to get to Rio as sitting in the crowd in London was amazing but it wasn’t where I wanted to be – I wanted to play. It means everything to me to be going to a Paralympic Games – I’ve dreamt about this since I was a little kid. It is my first Games so experience is going to be a massive key point for me – I haven’t got any overall goals of a medal but I do know that on my day I can beat anyone in the world so I’m just going to play my best table tennis and see what happens.”

Paul Karabardak – SM6
20160307 Copyright onEdition 2016© “Preparation has been going really well – I’ve been training hard and I’m pleased with the way I’m playing so I think I’m in a good place and looking forward to getting to Rio and playing now. The experience of Beijing and London will be a big help for me. My goal would be a medal but ultimately I want to play well and give my best and if I can do that then I can win a medal so my aim is just to go out and play my best. Representing ParalympicsGB in Rio means a lot to me because it is so tough to qualify for a Paralympic Games so to be going to my third as one of the top players in my class makes me feel really proud.”

Aaron McKibbin – SM8 and TM6-8
20160307 Copyright onEdition 2016© “Preparation has been going really well and I’m just excited now to get out there and get started. We’ve had a long period without competition and the other day we played a national competition to get some match practice and I had some good results there so I’m feeling confident going in that my level is where it needs to be – it is just about putting the pieces together on the day. I feel that every major I’ve played I’ve improved my performance and for me it is a confidence thing; if I believe in myself I’ll play my best and if I do that then I can beat anyone. If I can bring my best level then I will be happy with my performance.”

David Wetherill – SM6
20160307 Copyright onEdition 2016© “We had a really good training camp in Slovenia two weeks ago and I know that all the hard work is in the bank. It is about performing on the day now. Experience does count for a lot – I’ve done it all before and I’m trying to stay away from all the razzmatazz that goes with a big event. I feel quite calm and hopefully I’ll be able to focus on the job in hand and handle the nerves and pressure better this time. I feel that I am improving as a player week by week but I have no expectations – obviously I have dreams but I am not thinking in terms of outcome. I’ve just got to go and put into practice all the hard work I’ve done and enjoy the challenge.”

Ross Wilson – SM8 and TM6-8
20160307 Copyright onEdition 2016© “The training camp in Slovenia was great – we had a lot of sparring partners over there and it really was good. Since we’ve been back from there we’ve really kicked on in training and everything is going well. The team is really well prepared and I can’t wait to see how everyone else does as well. Everyone wants to win a medal and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want a medal but with everything that has happened since London success for me would be just giving it everything and taking each game as it comes – and if that results in a medal I’d be over the moon. But if not, I just want to do myself and my country proud.”