Two of the British Para Table Tennis Team’s brightest young prospects have taken gold in their respective singles events at the PTT US Open in Las Vegas. Tom Matthews made a winning return from injury in men’s class 1 and Martin Perry also won his first singles gold in men’s class 6.
Matthews was playing in his first international competition since February after breaking his leg in the spring and after a walkover against the American Sebastian De Francesco he topped his group with wins against Matti Launonen from Finland (3-1) and the Korean Hakjin Kim (3-0).
A 3-1 win over the Argentinian Guillermo Bustamante Sierra took him into the final against World number five KiWon Nam and when the Korean took the first two sets he looked to be in control. But Matthews showed all his determination and fight to come back and win the next three and secure his first singles gold medal.
Perry began with a great 3-0 win against the very experienced and top ranked Danny Bobrov from Israel and secured first place in his group with further wins against two Americans Ari Arratia (3-1) and Edward Schneider (3-0). He reached the final with a 3-1 win against the Chilean Matias Pino Lorca and also showed his fighting spirit to come from 2-1 down against the talented young American Ian Seidenfeld to take the gold.
Billy Shilton played well to win his three group matches in men’s class 8 against Gabriel Salazar Perez from Ecuador (3-1), Pablo Jacobsen from Norway (3-0) and the American Solomon Sesaye (3-0) but was disappointed to lose in the quarter-final to the Italian Samuel De Chiara.
The competition continues with the team event that concludes tomorrow.