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Paralympics Tokyo 2020: Will Bayley going for team gold, Ross Wilson wins team bronze


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Will Bayley could still get the gold he wanted in Tokyo after a stunning team win over Spain guaranteed at least silver.

The Tunbridge Wells-born table tennis player, who won silver in singles, added another medal to his haul alongside Paul Karabardak in the Class 6-7 competition.

Will Bayley is going for gold in Tokyo. Picture: imagecomms 2021/sportsbeat
Will Bayley is going for gold in Tokyo. Picture: imagecomms 2021/sportsbeat

Bayley and his Welsh partner went down 3-2 to Jordi Morales and Alvaro Valera in the doubles opener.

Then Bayley thrashed London 2012 silver medallist Morales in his singles rubber in the space of 24 minutes to bring Britain back into the contest.

It came down to Karabardak, who emerged with singles bronze earlier in the Games, and he claimed a stunning 3-2 win over world number one Valera to see ParalympicsGB through.

Bayley said: “After the doubles I was feeling that we could still win the match because I’ve got Paul in my team.

“I think it showed with my singles the way I played Jordi that I knew we were well in it. I never gave up that hope that we could still win the match.

“Paul playing the way he is and the way he played in the singles I had no doubts that he could beat Valera but the way he beat him - he’s a legend.”

Karabardak added: “I knew that I had a chance and I just stuck to my game plan and I dug deep.

“It’s hard to have confidence when you’ve never beaten someone before but Will got behind me and Andy (coach Andrew Rushton) got behind me and all the team got behind me and that really lifted me.

“In a Paralympic semi-final against the world number one - an absolute legend of the game - you don’t normally do that so I think it probably is one of my best wins."

To get gold they will need to beat China on Friday with Yan Shou - who beat Bayley in the singles final - once again standing between the Brit and the big prize.

Elsewhere, Minster's Ross Wilson and Aaron McKibbin were beaten 2-0 by China and came away with bronze in the Class 8 team event.

They lost 3-1 in the doubles before Wilson was edged out 3-2 in the first singles match.

As a result, they come away with a bronze, alongside Billy Shilton, who helped the team reach the semi-final stage with his performances against Hungary in the quarter-finals.

“It was a great match,” said Wilson. “We have had some crazy matches over the years and it was great to be a part of this one.

"I wish the outcome could have been the opposite way and I could have kept us in the team event a little bit longer, but it is just one of those things.”

It has been a very successful Paralympics for the table tennis squad, with seven medals in the bag.

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