Two silver medals for British team on last day of US Open

US Open singles medalistsThe British Para Table Tennis team took two silver medals in the team events on the final day of the PTT US Open in Las Vegas. Kim Daybell and Josh Stacey lost a close final to Indonesia in men’s class 9-10 and Jack Hunter-Spivey and his Swedish team partner Bernt Norgren lost to Germany in the final of men’s class 3-5.

Daybell and Stacey, playing together here for the first time, were quickly into their stride with a 2-0 win against Puerto Rica and after winning the doubles against Denmark, 17 year old Stacey secured another 2-0 win with a fine 3-2 victory against class 10 player Martin Neilsen. A 2-0 win against a combined team from Guyana and USA took them through to the semi-finals where they beat USA 2-1 with Daybell securing the deciding singles 3-0 against Jerry Vasquez.

In the final the British pair lost the doubles but Stacey levelled the tie with a determined 3-2 win against class 10 player Komet Akbar. In a repeat of the class 10 singles final Daybell fought hard against David Jacobs and levelled at 2-2 but the World number two took the final set to win the gold for Indonesia.

With two silver medals this has been a successful tournament for 25 year old Daybell and a good finish to a season in which he won his first major medal at the European Championships.

“I thought Josh played really well,” he said. “It was interesting playing with a new partner as I haven’t played with anyone else for a long time but we were a good combination and in the future with Ash (regular team partner Ashley Facey Thompson) we could be a really strong team and it is nice to have different options within the team. Overall I think he played really well considering it was his first factor 40 event and I was quite pleased with my performance as well so it was good for both of us.”

“It was really good to play with Kim in the team event,” said Stacey, “as he is really experienced. It helped to play with him especially in the doubles so I’m really pleased to get another good result.”

Men’s class 5 singles gold medallist Hunter-Spivey and the unranked Norgren, silver medallist in the men’s class 4 singles here, were seeded fourth in their group and lost their opening doubles match to USA1 but they came through that tie 2-1 after taking both singles matches 3-1. They went on to beat Norway 2-0 and a combined team from Korea and USA 2-0 to top their group and go through to a semi-final against USA2. A 2-0 win put them into the final against Germany and after losing the doubles with his partner Hunter-Spivey was unable to repeat his singles win yesterday against World champion Valentin Baus and the German was a 3-0 winner to take the gold for his team.

“We were seeded fourth in the group so to get a medal and into the final was a good result,” said the 22 year old from Liverpool. “Playing with a new team partner was a challenge but he’s a good player and we had some good doubles matches and came through against some strong teams. In the final it didn’t go our way – Germany are a very strong team but overall it’s been a very good tournament for me.”

Martin Perry and Farrel Anthony faced a tough task in the men’s class 6-7 team event and went out at the group stage after losses to a combined team from Thailand and Japan and The Netherlands.