10 Apr 2017

Ross Wilson and Jack Hunter-Spivey won the respective Open Singles titles in the Standing and Wheelchair categories at the 2017 British Para Table Tennis Championships stage in Grantham on Sunday 9th April.

Meanwhile, Sue Gilroy claimed her 22nd National title in the Women’s Open Wheelchair Class; Paralympic champion Will Bayley combined with 18 year old Billy Shilton to take the Open Standing Doubles.

by Francesca Bullock, Great Britain Para Team Press Officer

Sheffield based Wilson also took the Class 8 singles title, beating Shilton in the semi-final and his Great Britain team partner Aaron McKibbin in the final. In the final of the Open singles he beat the class 10 singles champion Kim Daybell to claim the National title for the second time in his career.

“It is really nice to see the standard going up in the Nationals each year. I played both Billy in the semi and Aaron in the final and they are both great players and I love the fact that we are improving together as a team. Kim beat me in the final last year so we’ve had a few jokes in training but it is all good fun and I’m really happy to be champion. I’m training more on the table now and it is good for me to know that I am doing the right things in training and that is helping me get the results.” Ross Wilson

Notably, Jack Hunter-Spivey completed a hat-trick of titles with the class 5 singles and the wheelchair doubles.

“It is a great feeling. I’ve been on top for five years now and it gets tougher every year. The junior players are getting a lot better and it’s been strong competition this year. I’m really proud to be British champion and I don’t take it for granted. It is nice to be the best in Britain but everyone else is fighting for it as well so I’ve got to be on my game all the time”, Jack Hunter-Spivey

Also Jack Hunter-Spivey was partnered in the doubles by Pathway athlete Dan Bullen who was also runner up in the Class 5 singles.

“It was a pleasure to play with Jack in the doubles. It is the first time we’ve played together and we worked really well so hopefully we can look forward to playing together more in the future.” Dan Bullen

Impressively, Gilroy has dominated the Women’s Wheelchair events at the Nationals for more than two decades and also won the Class 4 singles as well as taking silver in the Open wheelchair singles, losing in the final to Hunter-Spivey.

“There is still work to be done but I played really well this weekend; to win 22 National titles is something I’m really proud of and I don’t think that is something anyone else will ever do.” Sue Gilroy

Tense moments and memorable moments as Martin Perry, voted “Player of the Tournament” celebrated his promotion last week to the British Performance Squad by taking the Class 6 singles title, beating the European bronze medallist and three time Paralympian David Wetherill in a thrilling final.

“To beat someone like Dave who is top five in the world is a fantastic result for me. It was a really good match and we both played really good table tennis. It means an awful lot to me to be National champion. I’ve been Scottish champion a few times and that means a lot to me but to say that I am British champion as well is a fantastic feeling.” Martin Perry

Also, Will Bayley came through the Men’s Class 7 singles without dropping a game but was more delighted to win the Open Doubles. He and Shilton beat Daybell and Class 9 Singles champion Ashley Facey Thompson in the semi-finals and then came from two-nil against Wilson and McKibbin to take the match 11-7 in the fifth.

 “It was one of the best wins I’ve had really because it was unexpected,” said Bayley. “We had a really difficult draw so I thought we were up against it and we did really well to win it. To come from two-nil down against players as good as Ross and Aaron was an amazing win for us.” Will Bayley

“I lost my focus a bit at the start of the match but we changed tactics a bit and played the perfect game in the last three sets. Will is such a top player and you’ve got to step up your game when you play with him so I’m really happy we won.” Billy Shilton

Paralympic champion Rob Davies retained his class 1-2 singles title but was pushed all the way by his GB team mate Tom Matthews in the decisive match in the round-robin event. Davies eventually took the match against his fellow Welshman 13-11 in the fifth.

“It’s nice to be British champion again and good to keep Tom down just for one more year. It is always nice to win but it was more of a learning experience for me to see what I need to work on ready for the Slovenia Open next month. I’m reasonably pleased with the way I’m playing. I’ve got three weeks of training to go yet so I’ve got to keep improving now.” Rob Davies

Aditioinally, among the winners were Kevin Plowman (Class 3), Adam Thompson (Class 11), Fliss Pickard (Ladies Open Standing), Lochlan O’Higgins (Junior Wheelchair and Wheelchair Open B), Jack Stockdale (Junior Standing), Euan McLaughlin (Standing Open B), Dylan Tynan (Standing Open C) and Harry Fairchild (Downs Syndrome Class). Junior Player of the Tournament went to Shae Thakker.

2017 British Para Table Tennis Championships: Results – Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles

Paralympics Para Table Tennis Great Britain Para Team