Bronze for McKibbin in Slovakia

Aaron McKibbin took bronze in the men’s class 8 singles on an otherwise disappointing day for the GB Para Table Tennis Team at the Slovakia Open in Bratislava. World number one Rob Davies (men’s class 1) lost narrowly in the quarter finals to world number 10 Ki-Won Nam from Korea, Paul Karabardak (men’s class 6) was beaten at the same stage by the World champion and World number one Alvaro Valera and Jack Hunter-Spivey also lost in the quarter finals to World number one and Paralympic champion Tommy Urhaug from Norway.

Aaron McKibbin 1Londoner McKibbin topped his group with three wins from three and received a bye into the quarter-finals where he beat Josef Krsiak from Slovakia 3-2. In the semi-finals he faced the World champion and World number one Viktor Didukh and the Ukrainian was too strong in a 3-0 win.

Davies also topped his group and received a bye into the quarter finals. He led Nam 2-0 and had match points in the fifth set but could not convert them and the Korean edged the set 12-10 to win the match 3-2.

Fellow Welshman Karabardak, gold medalist in Slovenia last week, won his group and played a great match to beat the World number six Bastien Grundeler from France 3-0 in the last 16. He was then unlucky to come up against Valera in the quarter-finals and the Spaniard showed all his class in a 3-0 win.

Hunter-Spivey progressed to the knockout stages with two wins from his three group matches and beat Agus Sutanto from Indonesia 3-1 in the last 16 to set up a quarter final against Urhaug but the experienced Norwegian was always in control and beat the 20 year old 3-0.

Ashley Facey Thompson (men’s class 9) also progressed from his group with two wins but found the Japanese player Nobuyuki Suzuki too good in their last 16 match in a 3-0 loss.

Thomas Matthews (men’s class 1) had a tough group with the world number two Jean-Francois Ducay from France and Nam and although he lost to both players he came very close to beating Nam, fighting back from 0-2 to level at 2-2 and losing a tight fifth set 11-9.

Martin Perry (men’s class 6) was also knocked out at the group stages but played well in 3-1 defeats to Grundeler and the world number 10 Alberto Seoane Alcazar from Spain and recorded a 3-0 win over Jaun Carlos Sepulveda Pardo from Chile.

The competition continues with the team event that concludes on Saturday.