The GB Para Table Tennis Team picked up a further four medals in the team events at the Czech Open in Ostrava today, including a silver for London 2012 bronze medalist Jane Campbell, partnered by Alena Kanova of Slovakia, in the women’s class 1-3 teams.
Two of the team’s promising young players Ashley Facey Thompson, partnered by Andreas Aulie from Norway, and Jack Hunter-Spivey, partnered by the Belgian Bart Brands, won bronze in the men’s class 9-10 and men’s class 5 teams respectively and David Wetherill combined with 19 year old GB Pathway squad player Martin Perry to win bronze in the men’s class 6-7 team event.
Campbell, from Clerkenwell in London, had a good win in the round-robin format team event against the in-form Marie-Christine Fillou of France, who had taken silver in the women’s class 3 singles. Campbell and partner Kanova were in with a chance of gold going into their final match against the Croatian pair of Andela Muzinic and Helena Dretar Karic but had to settle for silver after losing the match 3-1.
“I played reasonably well,” said Campbell, “but not quite good enough. I lost three of my singles matches in the fifth game so had my chances but couldn’t quite convert them into wins. This will definitely help my preparation for the European Championships – I’ve learnt a lot of things about some of my competitors and I know what I have to work on now.”
Eighteen year old Hunter-Spivey, from Widnes, added a team bronze to the bronze he had won in the singles and once again showed winning form against higher ranked players.
“The tournament has gone quite well,” said Hunter-Spivey, “and I’ve won some matches even though I haven’t played my best. I feel that I can compete now with players ranked above me and I’ve taken games off some of the best players so hopefully I can continue that at the Europeans.”
Wetherill also picked up his second bronze medal of the tournament and recorded a fine win against the Italian class 7 player Davide Scazzieri but the 23 year old class 6 player from Torpoint admitted that he was disappointed with the matches he lost.
“I’m pleased with the way I played,” said Wetherill, “but disappointed with the outcome of some of the matches. When it got tight at the end I wasn’t clinical enough but this has been great match practice before the Europeans so I can take a lot of positives from it. I would also like to congratulate my playing partner Martin Perry who won his first international medal in only his second international tournament.”
Londoner Facey Thompson, a class 9 player, recorded a win against Nixon Reyes from Costa Rica in the group stages and in the semi-final lost a very close match 11-9 in the fifth game to the class 10 Brazilian Carlos Carbinatti. He was also disappointed with his overall performance despite a bronze medal but is determined to learn from the experience.
“It wasn’t my best tournament but I have learnt a lot,” said the 18 year old from Stratford. “I didn’t play my best because I was too nervous and I can use this experience to help me prepare for matches so I can play more freely and not be afraid to lose.”
Head coach Greg Baker was satisfied that the tournament will prove a useful preparation for the four players going in to the European Championships later this month.
“It’s been great match practice for the players,” said Baker. “Jane has learnt some new things about her class 3 opponents, Jack is getting closer to the top players in class 5 and all the players can use the experience from this tournament to good effect in the European Championships.”
For further information, please contact the GB Para Table Tennis Team press officer Francesca Bullock on 07768 515841 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org