Sheffield-based table tennis player bidding to strike gold in Las Vegas

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Para table tennis star Martin Perry is determined to “turn the silver into gold” when he soaks in the bright lights of Las Vegas.

Perry is currently representing Great Britain at the Para Table Tennis US Open, which starts in Sin City on Wednesday.

The Sheffield-based player, 22, has never won a solo senior gold medal, but has vowed to correct that stat.

“I’ve fallen short three times now,” he said. “I have three senior silvers, and I’m really itching to get that gold.

“It would be really good to get that monkey off my back and push forward. I’ve only got a single individual gold and that was in an under-23 match in Italy earlier this year.

“I like to believe I’m one of the hardest workers and biggest fighters in the room, my resiliency is good.”

Perry is at a career-high Class 6 world ranking of 26. He did not travel to Rio 2016, and used the time to work at his game and give himself the best possible chance in Las Vegas.

Despite missing out on a few titles, Perry, who benefits from being part of the SSE Next Generation programme, said he uses each setback as a way of improving his game.

“Even when I lose, I use it as a positive, as I do something a bit different that gets me a little bit closer to the top, for me I’m hoping it will be fourth time lucky,” he said.

“I know I can do it, I’ve got the right mentality, I’ve done it in the under-23s and team events, but it’s getting that senior singles title that’s waiting for me.”

Paisley-born Perry is at a career-high Class 6 world ranking of 26. He did not travel to Rio 2016, and used the time to work at his game and give himself the best possible chance in Las Vegas.

As a result, the former University of West Scotland student says he is approaching his best form.

“I feel like I’m playing quite well at the moment, so I’d like to end the year and start the New Year on a high,” he added.

“I’ve not had a competition for a few months now, so I’ve been getting stuck into local league against a few able-bodied players.

“It’s going to be crunch time soon when I’m out there, as I feel like I’m playing the best stuff I’ve ever played, so hopefully I can relate that to competition time and get the job done.

“I’m just trying to train as hard as I can without overloading – I’ve picked up a few niggles here and there, but I’m just trying to balance my workload so I don’t get injured.”

* Next Generation programme partners with SportsAid to provide financial support and training to the sports stars of the future. Keep up to date with the latest @SSENextGen