British team continues preparation for Paris in Czech Open

British team continues preparation for Paris in Czech Open

World and European champion Will Bayley is included in a squad of 13 athletes for this week’s ITTF Czech Para Open in Ostrava (June 20-22) which will be the final tournament for the British Para Table Tennis team before the Paralympic Games later this summer.

The team that will compete in Paris will be announced by ParalympicsGB next month and the Czech Open will provide an opportunity for athletes to enhance their world ranking and seeding position for the singles events as well as gain valuable match practice for the all-important doubles pairings.

Already assured of the men’s class 7 number one seeding in Paris, World number one Bayley will compete in the men’s class 14 doubles in Ostrava with World and European medallist Martin Perry and the squad also includes World medallists Aaron McKibbin and Joshua Stacey, Rio 2016 Paralympic champion Rob Davies, European medallists Fliss Pickard and Bly Twomey, World doubles champions Paul Karabardak and Billy Shilton and Tokyo team medallist Megan Shackleton who are all qualified for Paris.

Also competing in Ostrava are European silver medallist Grace Williams, two-time European team medallist Ashley Facey and Confirmation athlete Theo Bishop.

“The plan for the Czech Open is very much around preparation for the Paralympics for those players going to Paris and those looking towards going to LA,” said BPTT Programme Manager Shaun Marples. “What we want to get out of the competition is valuable match experience now this is the last opportunity before the Paralympic Games, both in the singles and also with the doubles to see that the combinations that we have for Paris are working well and will be fully prepared for the Games.

“As a team we value all the medals and all the events that we participate in. With doubles being equally important in Paris we feel that it is a great opportunity for the partnerships to work together in a competitive environment playing against athletes they are probably going to face in Paris.”

The British squad for the ITTF Czech Open (June 20-22) is:

Will Bayley, 36, Tunbridge Wells/Brighton – class 7 (doubles only)

Theo Bishop, 21, Rossendale/Sheffield – class 7

Rob Davies, 39, Brecon – class 1

Ashley Facey, 29, London (Stratford)/Sheffield – class 9

Paul Karabardak, 38, Swansea – class 6

Aaron McKibbin, 32, London (Wandsworth)/Epsom – class 8

Martin Perry, 29, Paisley/Dumbarton – class 6

Fliss Pickard, 29, Burnley/Sheffield – class 6

Megan Shackleton, 24, Todmorden/Sheffield – class 4

Billy Shilton, 25, Stonehouse (Gloucester)/Sheffield – class 8

Joshua Stacey, 24, Cardiff/Sheffield – class 9

Bly Twomey, 14, Brighton – class 7

Grace Williams, 21, Llanfyllin/Sheffield – class 8