Sheffield-based players fall just short at Para Table Tennis Championships in Sweden

Eleven Sheffield-based players travelled to the European Para Table Tennis Championships in Helsingborg, Sweden earlier this week.

Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 1:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th September 2019, 5:52 pm
Ross Wilson in action.

Paralympic champion Will Bayley was among those in action along with the likes of Jack Hunter-Spivey, Kim Daybell and Ross Wilson.

Indeed, nine of the 11 players fell at the quarter-final stage, including World and Commonwealth champion Wilson.

Paralympic champion Will Bayley - who will is poised to compete in this year's edition of the BBC dance show Strictly Come Dancing - suffered a surprise quarter-final defeat in the Men's Class 7.

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Jack Hunter-Spivey

The 31-year-old successfully came through his group stage on top, following a 3-1 win over Russian Vladimir Anikanov and a 3-0 success against Pole Maksym Chudzicki.

Bayley then received a bye in the last-16 which set up a quarter-final clash with the Swede Nicklas Westerberg.

Bayley lost the first set but recovered sufficiently to go 2-1 in front.

However, the Swede powered back and came out on top to send Bayley crashing out.

Wilson, who won gold at last year's Commonwealth Games, also came top of his group after seeing off Russia's Artem Iakovlev and Gyula Zborai of Hungary.

In the knock-out stages he also received a bye, setting up a quarter-final clash with Ukraine's Maksym Nikolenko who proved too strong as he ran out a 3-1 winner.

Other Steel City-based stars that competed in Sweden were: Ashley Facey Thompson, Aaron McKibbin, Martin Perry, Fliss Pickard, Megan Shackleton, Billy Shilton and Josh Stacey.

There was success for the GB team as Paralympic table tennis champion Rob Davies secured his place at the 2020 Games in Tokyo after beating Hungary's Endre Major 3-1 in the men's class 1 final – his fourth consecutive European title.

"I knew in the back of my mind that winning would guarantee qualification for Tokyo but I just blanked that out," Davies said.

"To pull it out at another major means the most."