by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications (Interviews by Francesca Bullock)
At the final hurdle, they accounted for the Great Britain partnership of Kim Daybell and Ashley Facey Thompson, the no.4 seeds, by two matches to nil, having recorded the same margin of victory at the semi-final stage when opposing Bas Hegerlink and Emmanuel Martins Ferreira in the penultimate round.
Defeat for Great Britain but Kim Daybell and Ashley Facey Thompson could depart Lasko with heads held high. Notably, Ashley Facey Thompson is a Class 9 player and at the semi-final stage they had beaten the Spanish outfit comprising José Manuel Reyes, Jorge Cardona and Juan Bautista Perez, the no.3 seeds and Rio 2016 silver medallists. They won by two matches to one.
Star of the show in the penultimate round was 25 year old Kim Daybell; he partnered Ashley Facey Thompson to doubles success before in the vital deciding third match of the fixture overcoming Jorge Cardona in a full distance five games duel. In the second match of the fixture, Ashley Facey Thompson had lost narrowly to the more experienced José Manuel Reyes.
“We played really good doubles against Spain. They are such a strong team and have been World and European champions in the past. We have never beaten them before so to go out and do that in our first ever semi-final as a pair was really something special. I’ve been involved in so many close matches and against Cardona, I just used the experience that I have and I was able to come through. 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.”
“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. It really does 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. If we can keep going with that there is no reason we can’t become one of the best teams in the world.” Kim Daybell
“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. Our doubles was good and in my match against Ruiz I played my hardest and believed in myself; it was a really good match. His quality took over in the fifth game but I’m really happy with how I played. Class 10 is not my class but I feel that I am in the mix and playing strong against them; they are having to battle against me and that is giving me more belief to go and perform like that against the players in my class.” Ashley Facey Thompson
In Men’s Team Class 11, it was a day of rest, no fixtures were scheduled.
Play in all events concludes on Wednesday 4th October.
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