Paralympic medalist Aaron McKibbin beat the Chinese World number two Ye Chao Qun to win gold in the men’s class 8 singles at the PTT China Open in Bejing today and there was further success for the GB Para Table Tennis team as Jack Hunter-Spivey took silver in men’s class 5.
McKibbin, who won team bronze in London 2012, reached the semi-finals with a 3-0 win over Arufuahirokazu Tateishi from Japan and a 3-1 defeat of the former European champion Marcin Skrzynecki from Poland took him through to the final against Ye. The 24 year old Sheffield based Londoner produced a great performance to beat the former World champion 3-1 and help to secure his qualification for Rio next year.
“I’m very happy to get my first big result of the season,” said McKibbin. “Beating the Chinese in China is never easy but I think I played well and positively and I’m just happy to get the victory.”
Hunter-Spivey topped his group and a 3-1 win over the Spaniard Bilal El Baqqali Talibi in the quarter-finals took him through to a semi-final against the World number eight from Chinese Taipei Yen-Hung Lin. After losing a close first set the 20 year old from Liverpool took the next three 9, 10 and 13 to take him through to the final against Lin’s compatriot Ming Chih Cheng but the World number five was just too strong in a 3-1 win.
“I feel that my training is paying off and under pressure I feel like I’ve played very well,” said Hunter-Spivey. “I want to carry this form on into the team event now.”
In men’s class 10 Kim Daybell won all three of his group matches, including a 3-1 win over Kong Weijie from China, but was disappointed to lose a very close quarter final to the Sri Lankan Dinesh Deshappriya Pitiyage Don Silva 12-10 in the fifth after having two match points.
Gloucestershire teenager Billy Shilton was unlucky to lose out on countback in the group stages of men’s class 8 despite a battling 3-2 win over Skrzynecki while Sue Gilroy was unable to find her best form and finished fourth in the round robin women’s class 4 event with one win from her four matches.
The event continues with the team event that concludes on Tuesday.