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GB stars team up to add to medal tally

GB stars team up to add to medal tally
table tennis

Great Britain added two team medals to their haul at the European Para Table Tennis Championships in Slovenia, with Kim Daybell and Ashley Facey Thompson taking silver and Aaron McKibbin, Ross Wilson and Billy Shilton claiming bronze.

Meanwhile, Paul Karabardak, David Wetherill and Martin Perry, are already assured of a medal after coming through their semi-final on Tuesday.

Daybell and Facey Thompson beat Paralympic silver medallists Spain in the semi-final, with medical student Daybell needing to win a tense final singles match to secure their progress.

"I’ve been involved in so many close matches and at 2-2 against Cardona I just used the experience that I have had and I was able to come through it," said Daybell.

"It is what I’ve been doing for the whole tournament – just grinding out matches and doing it the hard way but it has worked out well."

The pair then faced world champions Poland in the final and acquitted themselves well but came up just short to lose the match 3-1.

"It would have been quite easy for us to sit back after winning the quarter-finals and feel that we had done it after medalling and I was so pleased that we could go a step further," added Daybell.

"It really did mean a lot to win silver, and to win it with Ash and share that experience - it is something we have both been working for a long, long time so it is good. I think Ash is playing great now and I am hopefully going to be able to improve my level a bit more and if we can keep going with that there is no reason we can’t become one of the best teams in the world.”

Facey Thompson added: "We could easily have been happy with the bronze but we pushed on and beat a quality team and I’m really happy with that."

Wilson and McKibbin came through a tough quarter-final match against France before taking on Ukraine in the semi-final and although they fought back well to take the first set of the doubles they lost the match 3-1 and the tie 2-0.

 

“Obviously our doubles performance against France was much better than against Poland in the group and that is what we were trying to do – bring our level to where it should be and I think we did that," said McKibbin.

"I think this major has been one of the hardest for me as I’ve had a few niggling injuries coming in so it has been a bit of a mental battle but I’m really happy to come away with a medal.”

Wetherill and Karabardak, who was celebrating his 32nd birthday, overcame Israel in their semi-final and will face world silver medallists Croatia in Wednesday's final. 

"It’s a very nice way to celebrate my birthday – I couldn’t ask for more," said Karabardak.