Silver medals for Jack Hunter-Spivey (men’s class 5), Billy Shilton (men’s class 8) and Kim Daybell (men’s class 10) were the highlight for the British Para table tennis team on the second day of the PTT Bangkok Open in Thailand with Martin Perry taking bronze in men’s class 6.
Liverpool’s Hunter-Spivey was a 3-0 winner against both 19 year old Norakan Chanpahaka from Thailand and Kentaro Doi, the 2017 Asian Youth Para Games champion from Japan, to top his group. He received a bye into the semi-finals where he fought back from 2-1 down to beat the very experienced Lin Yen-Hung from Chinese Taipei 3-2 but lost 3-0 in the final to Cheng Ming Chih, the World number three from Chinese Taipei.
“I feel I’ve played well this competition,” said 24 year old Hunter-Spivey, “and I’m pleased to have got to the final with a good win in the semi-finals against a tough opponent. I’m disappointed in the result in the final but I fought as hard as I could and left it all on the table and that’s all I can do.”
Shilton came through his group with three wins from three against Panupong Santaya from Thailand (3-0), 19 year old Spanish Open team gold medallist Devin Wassink from Netherlands (3-0) and 17 year old Nikita Novikov from Russia (3-1). He defeated the Dutch teenager Roy Van Der Burg in the semi-final but was disappointed to lose 3-0 in the final to the Asian Championships bronze medallist Phisit Wangphonphathanasiri from Thailand.
“I’m happy to have got to the final,” said the 20 year old from Stonehouse in Gloucestershire, “but disappointed for it to have gone the wrong way. I felt that it took me too long to get into it and that is what cost me the match.”
Daybell was a comfortable 3-0 winner against 16 year old British Pathway athlete Shae Thakker and then came through 3-1 against 16 year old Su Jin Sian from Chinese Taipei, 15-13 in the fourth. The 26 year old from Sheffield secured top place in his group and a bye into the semi-finals with a 3-0 win against Phitak Kankingkam from Thailand and a 3-0 win against the 2017 Asian Championships silver medallist Bunpot Sillapakong from Thailand set up a final against his old rival and top seed Ivan Karabec, the former World and Paralympic champion from Czech Republic. The two have played many close matches and combined to win gold in the men’s class 10 team event at last week’s Japan Open. Today it was Karabec who was just the stronger, taking the match and the gold 11-7 in the fifth after Daybell had led 2-1.
“I feel my level was better but still not where I need it to be at this point of the season,” said Daybell. “He played well and I congratulate him. I needed to take my chances when I was leading in a few of the sets and the result could have been different. Hopefully I can keep playing better in the team event.”
Perry began with a 3-0 win against Yaser Hussaini from Australia, the 2017 Oceania Championships bronze medallist, and then had to fight back from 2-1 down to defeat the Korean Asian Para Games team silver medallist Se Ho Lee 11-5 in the fifth. That took him through to the semi-finals where he was beaten 3-1 by the Asian Championships bronze medallist Ju Hyon Jon from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“I feel that I played well in the group stages,” said 24 year old Perry, from Paisley. “I was really happy to beat Lee as I don’t have a great record against him and it was the match to decide who finished first I the group so I was happy to win that, especially from 2-1, 6-2 down. I don’t feel I played particularly badly in the semi-final I was just outplayed and he went on to win the gold. The last two weeks in Asia have been a massive learning curve for me. I’ve never been to this part of the world and it was a big culture shock. I’ve had a really good season and I’ve a few more tournaments left so I need to pick myself up and look to improve and push on for the rest of the season.”
Falmouth teenager Dylan Tynan was beaten 3-0 by Sillapakong but progressed to the knockout stages in men’s class 10 with a 3-0 win against 19 year old Wu Jiancheng from Hong Kong and a walkover in his final group match when Naoya Nagashita, the 27 year old defending champion and 2018 Asian Para Games team gold medallist, withdrew. He was beaten 3-0 by Su in the quarter-finals.
Also in men’s class 10, 18 year old Jack Stockdale from Romford received a walkover when Chanyut Uthaisar from Thailand withdrew and took the first set against Karabec before the World number eight came back to win 3-1. He missed out on qualification for the knockout stages after losing his final match to 22 year old Ivan Karpov from Russia in five sets, having led 2-0.
After losing to Daybell, 16 year old Thakker from Denham beat Kankingkam 3-0 but finished in third place in the group after a 3-0 defeat to Su.
In men’s class 1-2 Marc Bonnar lost his first group match to the men’s class 1 World number one and Asian champion Young Dae Joo from Korea and was then beaten in four close sets by class 2 Chee Keong Eric Ting from Singapore and 3-0 by Natthawut Thinathet from Thailand, the class 2 Indonesia Open champion 2018.
The tournament continues with the team events that conclude tomorrow.