Mixed fortunes for Sheffield athletes at Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games on Thursday

Sheffield table tennis star Jack Hunter-Spivey moved a step closer to fulfilling his medal ambitions at Tokyo after reaching the quarter final in the Men’s class 5 singles.

By Steve Jones
Thursday, 26th August 2021, 1:59 pm

The 26-year-old, who lives in Hillsborough and trains at the English Institute of Sport Sheffield (EIS) with ParalympicsGB table tennis, topped Group B after winning both his matches on Thursday and will be back in action in the knockout stage tomorrow.

Hunter-Spivey, ranked eighth in the world, thrashed the world number two Cheng Ming Chih from Chinese Taipei 3-0 in his opening game before overcoming Bart Brands of Belgium 3-1 a few hours later.

He will play world number three Tommy Urhaug from Norway in the last eight.

Sheffield-based Jack Hunter-Spivey, is through to the quarter finals in the Men’s Class 5 Table Tennis. Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images.

Joshua Stacey (Men’s class 9) and Rio 2016 gold medallist Will Bayley (Men’s class 7) have also reached the quarter final.

“I was in tears after my big win this morning but the coaches let me have my little bit of a moment then they said ‘we’ve got another job to do’ and that was crucial for me,” said Hunter-Spivey, who was eliminated at this stage at Rio.

“I’ll just try and chill out now before the quarter-finals tomorrow. What has been keeping me relaxed this tournament is the rooming in the village.

"It’s been perfect to be with a group of mates and just to have that bit of de-stress.”

Barnsley’s Sue Bailey is out of the Women’s class 4 singles after she lost her second and final group match 3-1.

"I was so disappointed with how I played yesterday and it was very difficult to get myself back up," she said.

“Win or lose I think that is what frustrates me more that I haven’t shown how well I can play.”

Primary school teacher and six-time Paralympian Bailey will have another chance to bring home a medal when the women's team event gets underway on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Great Britain’s Men’s wheelchair basketball team, who also train at the EIS, began their Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games campaign today with a 70-43 win over Algeria.

They will return to the court on Friday to face Germany.

Team GB’s Women’s wheelchair basketball team were beaten 54-48 by hosts Japan in their second game on Thursday and are also back in action against Germany tomorrow.