by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Both were extended the full five games distance; marginally Ross Wilson being the first to finish; he beat Josh Stacey of Wales (10-12, 11-2, 14-12, 11-9), a player who usually his colleague. In Para Table Tennis England and Wales are part of the Great Britain team
“The first game you are always a bit nervous but this in the Commonwealth Games, so you are even more on edge; I know Josh well, we practise together. Today he played really well, he made a strong start. I changed my tactics in the second game; I made sure I was strong on the opening attack after my service. I was much more positive. The second game was vital; the only time I was ahead was at 13-12! The final against Kim, it will be really tough.” Ross Wilson
Success for Ross Wilson, just over one minute later, there was success for Kim Daybell; he accounted for South Africa’s (11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-6)
“An up and down match but every match in this tournament has been like that, I’m finding it difficult to keep my focus. I’m not sure why, possibly the atmosphere, the occasion, it’s the Commonwealth Games. I had to impose my game on him; when I played passively and let him attack I had problems. In the fifth game I was more positive; I stepped up the play, more top spin on the ball, stronger strokes.” Kim Daybell
Tense moments, by comparison, the counterpart matches in the Women’s Singles Class 6-10 event produced comfortable wins for Melissa Tapper and Nigeria’s Faith Obazuaye. Although losing the first game to Australian colleague, Andrea McDonnell, Melissa Tapper was a step ahead of her worthy opponent, she won in four games (6-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-1).
Meanwhile, level of disability of England’s Felicity Pickard, who needs the support of a walking stick for support, was far too great against the far more agile Faith Obazuaye; a straight games result was the outcome (11-6, 11-7, 11-8).
It was a fact recognised by the crowd, all applauded Felicity Pickard as she left arena; her bravery was recognised, she had gained the respect of all in the Oxenford Studios.