The British Para Table Tennis Team took two team medals at the PTT US Open in Las Vegas with Martin Perry adding silver in men’s class 6-7 to the gold he won in the men’s class 6 singles and Billy Shilton winning silver in men’s class 8.
“I feel that I’ve played positive table tennis throughout,” said Perry, who was partnered in the team event by the Chilean Matias Pino Lorca. “It could have been very easy to get distracted out here in Las Vegas but I feel that the mental strength of the whole team has really shown as we have kept each other grounded and focused throughout. I’m over the moon with my first senior title! I put a lot of hard work in back home and in Sheffield and it’s nice to see it paying dividends on the big day. I’m incredibly happy with some of my wins out here; to have beaten the world number 11 for the second time in a row really does fill me with confidence going forward into 2017.”
Shilton combined with the Italian Samuel De Chiara to take the silver in men’s class 8, the pair winning all their group matches and their semi-final against The Netherlands 2-0 and only losing in the final to the experienced Swedish combination of former world number one Emil Andersson and Linus Karlsson.
“I didn’t play great in the singles event and struggled to maintain a good level of focus,” he said. “But I had a good chat with my coach Shaun about finding ways to re-focus and I brought it into my matches in the team event. I was really pleased with how I performed during the team event and it was great to win a silver medal in my last tournament of the year. Next year my aims are to break into the top 15 in the world and qualify for the World championships.”
Tom Matthews was thrilled to win his first singles gold medal on his return from injury.
“It was tough as it was my first international back since Italy in February,” said the European team champion. “I knew my training had gone well up to the event but it was just settling my nerves and playing with confidence and consistency that got me through. I admit I was very nervous in my semi-final coming up against a player I’ve never faced before and being back in that pressure situation, and to pull through that was a good stepping stone to my final match against Nam. Going 2-0 down was always going to be difficult to fight back against a top player but I just thought to myself ‘fight for every ball and just get it on the table’ and it paid off.
“I’m over the moon to win my first international gold especially against such a great opponent. I’d just like to say a big thank you to everyone for getting me back up to match fitness after my injury and just thank you for all the support.”