Silver medals for Jack Hunter-Spivey in men’s class 5 and Ashley Facey-Thompson in men’s class 9 were the highlights for the British team in the singles events at the PTT China Open in Hangzhou today. Megan Shackleton (women’s class 4), Fliss Pickard (women’s class 6), Joshua Stacey (men’s class 9) and Kim Daybell (men’s class 10) all took bronze.
After topping his group yesterday Hunter-Spivey beat Toru Nakamoto from Japan 3-1 in the quarter-finals and the 2017 Asian champion Zhan Dashun from China 3-0 before losing 3-1 to the Paralympic champion from China Cao Ningning.
“I’m really happy with the way I played out here,” said Hunter-Spivey, “and really pleased to navigate my way through to the final beating some good players on the way. This was a big competition for me in terms of qualification for Tokyo and feel I handled the pressure well and it was a great end to the year.”
Facey Thompson showed great determination to come back from 2-1 down to beat the Japanese World number three Koyo Iwabuchi in the semi-finals. In the final he again fought back from 2-0 down against Zhao to level at 2-2 but Chinese player took the match and the gold 11-8 in the fifth.
“I had to dig deep against Koyo,” said Facey Thompson. “It was a good match but I had the upper hand in the end and managed to win. I started slowly in the final but I kept a cool head and managed to get back into the match but my opponent played well. Overall I’m happy with silver.”
Stacey was unable to make it an all-British final in men’s class 9, losing 3-0 to Zhao in the semi-final.
“I played well in patches,” said Stacey, “but in the semi-final Zhao was a lot better at being solid for the first three balls of a rally and was the better player by a wide margin from start to finish. I’m looking forward to playing in the team event with Igor Misztal from Poland and seeing how well we can do.”
After taking the Chinese World number two to five sets yesterday Shackleton was beaten 3-1 in her semi-final by Gu Xiaodan, the Chinese World number four who went on to take the gold.
“I’m pleased with the way I’ve played so far,” said Shackleton. “To take Zhou so close has given me great confidence; although I didn’t get the win I think it was a great learning curve I can take going forwards and it’s great to be the only other country on the podium alongside China!”
Pickard was beaten 3-0 in her semi-final by Katarzyna Marszal, the former World champion from Poland who also sent on to take the gold.
Daybell played Ivan Karabec in the semi-finals and after taking a close first set 12-10 the former World and Paralympic champion from Czech Republic went on to take the match 3-1.
“It is always good to win a medal at a major tournament so I’m pleased to come away with one,” said Daybell. “Unfortunately it was the same story as it has been for a lot of my season and I was unable to deliver against the best players in the world but I will do my best to improve in that in the team event.”
In men’s class 8 Billy Shilton was beaten 3-1 in the quarter-finals by the 17 year old Asian champion from China Peng Weinan.