by Alex Hoad at the ExCeL Arena
Teenage table tennis star Ross Wilson has vowed to ‘come back stronger’ from his London 2012 experience after missing out in the bronze medal match on Monday afternoon.
Wilson suffered a straight sets defeat against old Class 8 foe Emil Andersson at a rocking ExCeL Arena to finish fourth in his first Games, just over a year after taking part in his first competition after his classification.
Wilson received a bye through the preliminary round before winning his quarter-final against Pole Marcin Skrzynecki 11-2, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7, after starting brightly and then recovering from a dodgy second set nicely.
Wilson was cruelly denied a place in the gold medal match after racing into a two set lead against Shuai Zhao of China on Saturday evening 11-9, 11-9.
He was two points from victory in the third, only for the World No1 to come back strongly and snatch the win in the deciding set, 12-10, 11-7, 11-7.
Reflecting on the Games, the 17-year-old said: “It was a good experience overall. I didn’t really expect to get this far.
“I’ve learned so much, it’s been absolutely amazing. The crowds have been amazing, I have never experienced anything like it. It’s been brilliant. A great experience.
“Hopefully I can come back stronger next time.”
Both players looked nervy in the opening two sets, with several momentum shifts in each set, and Wilson said: “I think it might have been a bit of the atmosphere maybe.
“You never know what’s going to happen in games like this, it’s not really who’s the best, it’s about who’s going to give it their all and get the edge.
“He played really well and deserves a lot of credit for that.”
Wilson was cheered on from friends and family from Minster, Sheppey, and the Howard TTC in Rainham and he revealed: “They have all been loving it, they have been making so much noise even when I’m losing. I appreciate it.”
The Games is not over for Wilson, however, as he is part of the GB Class 6-8 team which will play in the quarter-final of the team competition on Thursday morning.
Wilson said: “We’re quite confident as a team and we get on well. Hopefully we can do quite well in the team event.”
Wilson plans to have a break back in Kent after the Games before returning to training in Sheffield.