by Francesca Bullock, Press Officer, Great Britain Paralympic Team
In October 2018, Ross Wilson claimed the men’s class 8 World title in Celje, Slovenia beating double Paralympic champion Zhao Shuai from China in the final, six months after winning the men’s class 6-10 Commonwealth title on Australia’s Gold Coast.
In his short but illustrious career, he has also won Paralympic team bronze medals in both London and Rio and taken European medals in 2011, 2015 and 2017 despite a series of injuries that kept him out of competition for two years following London 2012.
“It is brilliant. I walk through these halls every day so to be on the wall with so many fantastic athletes is something I’ll be proud of forever. We work so hard and for so many hours and I couldn’t do it without all of the support of people at the EISS, the support staff, coaches and everyone involved. Seeing my photo on the wall with all of the champions at the EIS is going to motivate me even more and hopefully I can add a few more major titles.” Ross Wilson
British Para Table Tennis Performance Director, Gorazd Vecko, has watched Wilson grow from talented teenager to World champion.
“Ross totally deserves this honour. We knew the talent was there for a long time and that he would get to where he is now to be the World champion and to have the chance to take a singles medal in the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. When we set up the new programme in 2009 I was very happy that Ross was finally diagnosed in 2010 and he could start to play Para table tennis for Great Britain. In London 2012 he lost in the semi-finals of the singles 3-2 to Zhao, who was the best player of the time. This is the closest he has come so far in the singles at a Paralympics but we know he has a huge talent and he was a very important part of winning bronze medals in the team event in London and Rio.
I am very happy for Ross. He is a really hard working athlete and has put aside his personal life to dedicate himself to the sport. He is a great athlete and a great role model for Para table tennis and I really admire him and what he has done in his career. This is not the finish for Ross, there will be a lot more major titles in the future for him.” Gorazd Vecko
Paul Hudson, head of sport and leisure at Sheffield International Venues, which operates the English Institute of Sport Sheffield, was equally pleased.
“We’re delighted that Ross has received deserved recognition for his career achievements to date. At 23, he’s achieved so much but still has so much more to offer, and I’m excited to see where his career will take him next.”