Italian success for South Yorks duo

Sue Gilroy won silver and bronze in Italy
Sue Gilroy won silver and bronze in Italy
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Sheffield-based paralympic and European silver medalist Will Bayley won gold and silver in the Lignano Master Open in Italy.

And there were two medals for Barnsley’s Sue Gilroy as the Great Britain team finished with six medals overall.

Bayley retained the men’s class 7 singles title he won last year. He avenged his 2013 European Championship final defeat by the Ukrainian Mykhaylo Popov, beating the world No 3 comfortably in the semi-finals 3-0.

He went on to face world No 4 Jordi Morales in the final after the Spaniard beat world No 1 Maxym Nikolenko in the other semi-final. Bayley was always in control in the final and took the gold 3-0.

In the team events Bayley took silver with team mate Paul Karabardak. After beating the Spanish/Italian combination of Jordi Morales and Raimondo Alecci in the semi-finals of the men’s class 6/7 team event, Bayley and Karabardak faced the reigning class 7 European champions from the Ukraine, world No 1 Maxym Nikolenko and world No 3Mykhaylo Popov in the final.

The doubles proved to be the pivotal match as the GB pair held two match points before eventually going down 13-11 in the fifth and went on to lose the tie 3-1.

Sue Gilroy, the former Commonwealth champion, took bronze in the women’s class 4 singles, reaching the semi-finals but finding world No 1 Borislava Peric-Rankovic just too good, the Serbian winning 3-1.

She again came close to beating Peric-Rankovic in the singles rubber in the team event before losing 3-2.

With wins against Jordan and Slovenia, the match against Serbia decided the gold medal, with the GB/Swedish combination of Gilroy, Megan Shackleton, and Sweden’s Anna-Carin Ahlquist losing 3-2 to take the silver.

It was a first international medal for 14 year old Shackleton.

The other GB medal came from Aaron McKibbin taking silver in the men’s class 8.

Although disappointed to miss out on another gold, Bayley was delighted with his first international competition of the 2014 season.

“I’m really happy,” he said. “It’s been a long off season and I’ve trained hard so to win gold in the singles and beat Popov twice 3-0 is special.”

Sue Gilroy said: ““On the whole I’ve played well here. I’ve had some really good wins and I just need to start converting my chances against Peric into wins. But I’m proud of what I’ve done; I’ve improved since last year so the hard work is paying off.”