Bly Twomey stars on day two of European Championships as British teenage prodigy guarantees at least a bronze medal

Bly Twomey stars on day two of European Championships as British teenage prodigy guarantees at least a bronze medal

Day two of the ITTF European Para Table Tennis Championships 2023 in Sheffield saw the group stages of the men and women’s singles come to an end with a feast of top-class action featuring 135 matches.

It saw Great Britain’s 13-year-old prodigy, Bly Twomey, emerge as one of the early stories of the tournament as she won two of her three matches in the women’s class 7 to go into the next round of the competition and guarantee herself at least a bronze medal in her first major championship.

After defeating Sweden’s world number six, Smilla Sand, in her first major championship match yesterday, Twomey began the day with a comprehensive 3:0 victory over Jenny Slettum of Norway in the morning session.

She finished the day with another outstanding performance in the final game of the day as she pushed Turkey’s world champion, Kubra Korkut, every step of the way in a narrow defeat that was much closer than the 3:0 scoreline suggested as all of the games were close (11-9; 12-10; 16-14).

“I’m learning so much about different styles,” said Twomey. “I didn’t think about playing the World champion I just see someone on the other side of the net. I played quite close sets with her, and I’m really pleased I did that and I think I could have got the third set but she was playing so well.

“(At this European Championships) I didn’t think I was going to get out of my group, so I wasn’t expecting a medal in my first major tournament and I’m really pleased.”

The first session of the day, saw Belgium’s world number one Florian Van Acker of Belgium continue his progress in the men’s class 11 with a win over Timothe Ivaldi of France.  But despite two winning two games in this the tournament so far, the two-time European champion still does not feel at his best.

“I just played well. The first match not good, not what I wanted. Now I’m doing ok,” said Van Acker.  “I don’t know what’s going to happen next because nobody can see in the future, like this or that will happen. I have no glass ball to see in the future so we will see.”

In the women’s competition, it has been a great tournament so far for Croatia’s Andela Vincetic-Muzinic who has won all three of her matches.  The world number two competed twice today in the women’s class 3 as she recorded victories over Michela Brunelli of Italy in the morning and Sanja Mijatovic of Serbia in the afternoon. 

Speaking after her second victory, Vincetic-Muzinic said: “I expect that I need to be the best if I want to win the European Championship.  I prepared very good.  Every match was full of insight.”

One of the noisiest games of the day came in the men’s class 3 as Ireland’s Colin Judge booked his place in the knockout rounds with a 3-0 over Marc Graf of Austria.  It came after a thrilling 3:2 win yesterday over Carl Alexander Mattias Ohgren of Sweden.

The delighted Irishman said: “I am just delighted to get over the line as it wasn’t my best performance.   I think, it’s hard coming out today after such a good performance yesterday playing against a very different style. I am just happy that I held my own, got my points and I am really looking forward to the quarter-finals.

“Today was a very different game from yesterday. The way I played yesterday didn’t work today so I had to adjust a little bit. But I’m just happy to get the win.

“It’s not easy [to come back today], especially with such a big crowd and the bright lights and the loud music. You never really fully get used to it. It’s a lesson I’ve learnt that I need to prepare for every match the same way and I need to be ready for anything and be able to adapt.

“My dad is here and my aunt and my friend from Dublin and a player in the development squad. It’s great to have my teammates and coaches cheering me on and lovely to have the European Championships so close to home.”

The afternoon session began with one of the matches of the tournament in the men’s class 7 as Sweden’s Sam Carl Gustaffsson overcame Daniel Horut of the Czech Republic in a nail-biting, five-set thriller which lasted for a whopping 43 minutes.

It came after a disappointing opening day performance in which the Swede went down 3-0 to Britain’s world champion, Will Bayley.

A delighted Gustaffsson said: "I am so happy right now.  After the match against Bayley (yesterday) I wasn't very happy about the way I played, so it feels like the weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  I trained so hard for this and feel like I didn't give my full game against Bayley and now it feels a lot better."

Commenting on the noisy support he received throughout the game, Gustaffsson added:  "They are like my family.  We are all a team . I am so happy I have their support. It helps so much."

All the results from today’s play and the draw for day three can be viewed at

The action on Day three starts at 9:00 (BST) and will be streamed live on the ITTF Youtube channel at

The European Para Table Tennis Championships is an ITTF event which is supported by funding from the National Lottery and Sheffield City Council and will be delivered in association with a range of partners including UK Sport, British Para Table Tennis and Table Tennis England (TTE). Event suppliers include: Butterfly, Neon Flooring, 729-Table Tennis Balls and the Crowne Plaza Hotel Sheffield.