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Golden finale for GB in Slovenia

Golden finale for GB in Slovenia
table tennis

Great Britain finished the European Para Table Tennis Championships on a high with a team gold for David Wetherill, Paul Karabardak and Martin Perry on the final day of competition.

With Perry as reserve, Karabardak and Wetherill got off to a flying start in the final against Croatia but had to battle their way through a deciding set in the doubles to take the early advantage.

And In the first singles Karabardak fought back from two sets down to level at 2-2, and then again from 3-0 down in the fifth as he rallied to clinch the set 11-7 and with it Britain's second gold of the Championships.

"I’m over the moon with the way I played against a top opponent who has had a good competition," said Karabardak.

"It’s very special – my first major gold – and I’m so pleased that I could play my best table tennis and help the team to become European champions.”

For Wetherill, the title was a second medal of the Championships with the 27-year-old having already taken the silver in the class 6 individual event. 

“We knew from the start that the doubles would be really important and if we could go into the singles 1-0 up then Paul could play relaxed and we would be in a very strong position to take the victory," he said.

"At 2-0 up were playing really well and very positive but in the third set we lost a string of points and my confidence dropped a little bit and all of a sudden they were back at 2-2.

"I’ve got to pay big credit to Tim Pitt our psychologist because he has really helped me for the past few years - that part of table tennis is massive especially in the finals and the major medal matches and I think we played the important points well today.

"I was so glad Paul won because I was a nervous wreck watching from the bench. He played amazingly and I’m really proud of him.”

The 23-year-old Perry paid tribute to his team-mates' performances after supporting them from the sidelines.

“It’s been great being part of this team,” said Perry.

“These guys have a bank of knowledge and experience that I can feed on and it has been incredible being able to help and support them in any way I can – both in the training hall and by being supportive on the bench.

"Hopefully that energy transfers onto the table because we are in this together and I think the guys have played amazing throughout. I was down to play in the first match but I wasn’t needed so it shows that we have strength in depth in this team and going forward I’m sure there is much more success to come for us.”