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Minster table tennis player Ross Wilson wins gold at World Championships

By Luke Cawdell

Ross Wilson backed up his Commonwealth success by clinching gold at the World Table Tennis Championships.

Wilson beat China’s double Paralympic champion Zhao Shuai after a terrific fightback in Slovenia, making him world champion.

“It has been an amazing year from me,” said the 23-year-old, class eight competitor.

Ross Wilson celebrates with his coach at the World Championships Picture: Vid Ponikvar / Sportida
Ross Wilson celebrates with his coach at the World Championships Picture: Vid Ponikvar / Sportida

“With the Commonwealths and now this I really can’t believe it.

“When I was seven someone asked me what I wanted to do when I was older and I said I wanted to be world champion. They laughed at me and then said ‘no, what do you actually want to do’, and I just turned to my mum and gave her a serious look and said ‘no, I do want to be world champion’.

“For it to come true now is just a crazy feeling. I’m over the moon and it is something I’ll be able to keep with me forever. I’m very proud of it.”

Wilson needed to pick himself up in the final, having been on the cusp of defeat. He was trailing two sets to one and 7-4 down in the fourth. But after levelling it up at 8-8 he won the set 14-12.

He then went onto win the fifth and final set, again fighting back, having been 6-3 down, eventually taking it 14-12.

“It was a bit crazy,” said Wilson.

“I was up against a really great player and I knew I was going to have to really up my level in the final."

Ross Wilson with his gold medal
Ross Wilson with his gold medal

Shuai had come close to winning the match on three occasions, but Wilson frustrated him every time.

He said: “You’re focused for every point but you’re extremely focused when it is match point and you want it that bit more. To come back from three of them being under that much pressure was amazing.

“When I had my own match point I just saw my chance and I took it.”

Wilson trains full time with the British team at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield and was competing in his first World Championships.

Next focus now for Wilson is the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

“It is just about pushing on now,” he said.

“There is so much room for improvement still and when I get back in the training hall I’ll look at ways to do that. Tokyo is now my main goal.”

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