British team ready for European challenge

The British Para Table Tennis Team is ready to take on the best in Europe at the 2017 European Para Table Tennis Championships which start tomorrow in Lasko, Slovenia.

Athletes and coaches Euros 2017Paralympic champions Will Bayley and Rob Davies head a 16-strong squad for the singles events which will conclude on Saturday, September 30. The team events run from October 1-4.

Bayley, 29, will be looking to add the European crown to his World and Paralympic titles and warmed up for the championships by winning his first match for top Croatian league team Star on Monday.

“I might never have the opportunity again to hold all three titles at the same time so it is a dream and something I never really thought was possible,” said Bayley. “I think I thrive off the pressure and really enjoy being the player that people expect a lot of – it shows that I am playing well and training well. I’m also realistic enough to know that sport is unpredictable and anything can happen but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

In the opening round-robin group matches Bayley has been drawn against Nicklas Westerberg from Sweden and Thomas Rosenast from Switzerland.

Davies is bidding for his third consecutive European singles title in men’s class 1 and will start the defence of his title in a group against the Italian Federico Falco and Dmitry Lavrov from Russia.

“I love going to the European Championships because it was the first major I won,” said the 33 year old Welshman. “I just like competing and trying to be at my best for the major competition every year – whether it is Europeans, Worlds or Paralympics. That is always the goal every year and I’m really looking forward to it and hoping I can do my best.”

The full British squad for the European PTT Championships is:
Will Bayley – 29, from Tunbridge Wells, men’s class 7 singles
Kim Daybell – 25, from Sheffield, men’s class 10 singles & class 10 team
Paul Davies – 50, from North Cornelly, men’s class 1 singles & class 1 team
Rob Davies – 33, from Brecon, men’s class 1 singles & class 1 team
Ashley Facey Thompson – 22, from London (Stratford), men’s class 9 singles & class 10 team
Sue Gilroy – 44, from Barnsley, women’s class 4 singles & class 4-5 team
Jack Hunter-Spivey – 22, from Liverpool, men’s class 5 singles
Paul Karabardak – 31, from Swansea, men’s class 6 singles & class 6 team
Tom Matthews – 25, from Aberdare, men’s class 1 singles & class 1 team
Aaron McKibbin – 26, from London (Wandsworth), men’s class 8 singles & class 8 team
Martin Perry – 23, from Paisley, men’s class 6 singles & class 6 team
Felicity Pickard – 23, from Burnley, women’s class 6 singles
Megan Shackleton – 18, from Todmorden, women’s class 4 singles & class 4-5 team
Billy Shilton – 18, from Stonehouse (Glos), men’s class 8 singles & class 8 team
David Wetherill – 27, from Torpoint, men’s class 6 singles & class 6 team
Ross Wilson – 22, from Minster, men’s class 8 singles & class 8 team

Live streaming of the European PTT Championships 2017 can be found at: