Thomas Matthews has won a Bronze medal at the World Para Championships in Slovenia today.
After his heroic comeback against Federico Falco last night Matthews faced an even bigger challenge today in the form of World number one Young Dae Joo. The 26 year old Welshman started well and took the first set but the greater experience of the Korean, who was the silver medallist in Rio, proved decisive and he took the next three sets and the match 3-1.
“It definitely doesn’t get much tougher than that,” said Matthews. “He is a really good player and he is world number one for a reason. It was a difficult match – I felt that I played well but he was just a bit more consistent on the day. It’s been a massive learning experience I’m so happy to come away with a bronze medal although I’m obviously disappointed I couldn’t get another colour. This is my first World Championships and I’ve got a medal so I’m over the moon but a bit disappointed at the moment.
“I haven’t played much on a show court before so it was really good to go out there today in front of the lights and the crowd. I’ll just take the experience from it now and look back on it with my coach and see what we can do differently and hopefully come out with the win next time. I took a set off the world number one at the World Championships and it gives me massive confidence and the experience I need now. I want to go all the way in every tournament – that is what I am fighting for. I want that gold medal around my neck and I’m just going to go back and work harder than ever and hopefully next time I can come back with that gold medal.”
Paralympic champions Will Bayley and Rob Davies are among 10 British athletes who have made it through to the knockout stages of the World Para Table Tennis Championships in Slovenia after the second day of competition today. Bayley won his second match to top his group and Davies progressed despite losing his second match to the Argentinian Fernando Eberhardt. They are joined by Tom Matthews, Jack Hunter-Spivey, David Wetherill, Ross Wilson, Ashley Facey Thompson, Kim Daybell, Sue Gilroy and Megan Shackleton.
Words by Francesca Bullock (GB Para Table Tennis Press Officer)
Paralympic champions Rob Davies and Will Bayley won their opening group matches at the World Para Table Tennis Championships in Slovenia today. On a good day for the British team, Commonwealth champion Ross Wilson and European silver medallist Dave Wetherill booked their places in the knockout stages that start on Friday by winning both their group matches and there were also wins for Kim Daybell, Ashley Facey Thompson, Jack Hunter-Spivey and Sue Gilroy.