by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
In a group organised event, they finished in first place with Italy’s Andrea Borgato and Federico Falco next in line; the duo comprising Korea’s Park Sungjoo and Argentina’s Guillermo Bustamente ended matters in the bronze medal position.
“It has been a real rollercoaster of emotions for me. Having played the worst singles event for many years it was a real challenge to pick myself back up for the team event. The boys played great throughout and it was a real team performance.” Rob Davies
Undoubtedly the crucial contest was against the Italians; both outfits entered the concluding fixture unbeaten. Andrea Borgato and Federico Falco won the doubles (17-15, 5-11, 10-12, 14-12, 11-7), before Tom Matthews overcame Federico Falco (11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4) and Rob Davies gained revenge for his defeat in the final earlier in the year in the Slovenia final by overcoming Andrea Borgato (12-10, 11-5, 12-10).
“Tom and I won all the doubles except the last against Italy which we lost in the fifth but it was a great match. Tom pulled a top class win out of the bag beating Falco for me to have a chance to play against Borgato. It was just redemption for me having that chance and I loved the opportunity. I played some of my best table tennis to beat him three-nil to finish off a great team event for all three of us with gold.” Rob Davies
Gold in Class 1, there were also further medals for Great Britain in the Men’s Team events.
Aaron McKibbin and Ross Wilson claimed silver in Class 8, being beaten in the final by the top seeded Ukraine duo of Viktor Didukh and Ivan Mai, the top seeds; a two-nil result was the verdict.
Silver for Aaron McKibbin and Ross Wilson, in Women’s Team Class 4-5 it was the same colour for 18 year old Megan Shackleton in partnership with Russia’s Aleksandra Vasileva. They experience a two-nil defeat in the title decider, losing to the combination of Jung Younga and Hong Kong’s Wong Pui Yi
Gold and silver for Great Britain; there was also bronze. In the Men’s events, Paul Karabardak, Martin Perry and David Wetherill secured the third step of the podium in Class 6; Will Bayley and Billy Shilton did the same in Class 8, whilst in Class 9 it was the likewise outcome for Ashley Facey Thompson in harness with the host nation’s Yannick Ruddenklau.
The progress of Paul Karabardak, Martin Perry and David Wetherill was ended by Denmark’s Peter Rosenmeier and Michael Jensen, the champions elect, a two-one defeat being the order of proceedings.
Meanwhile, in Class 8, Will Bayley and Billy Shilton suffered in the same fashion as Aaron McKibbin and Ross Wilson against Viktor Didukh and Ivan Mai; in Class 9 Ashley Facey Thompson and Yannick Ruddenklau experienced a two-nil defeat when facing Italy’s Mohamed Amine Kalem and Samuel de Chiara.
2017 Bayreuth Para Open: Complete Results