World champion Ross Wilson and World bronze medallist Tom Matthews head a squad of seven athletes from the British Para Table Tennis Team that will compete in the PTT Dutch Open in Stadskanaal from November 1-3.
As World number three in men’s class 8 Wilson is almost certain of qualifying for next summer’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo when the qualification period ends at the end of March 2020. Matthews is currently world ranked number six in men’s class 1 and together with European bronze medallist David Wetherill (world number four in men’s class 6), Paul Karabardak (world number eight in men’s class 6) and Sue Gilroy (world number eight in women’s class 4) will be hoping to gain valuable world ranking points to consolidate or improve his position.
“Training has been going very well since the Europeans,” said Matthews. “I’ve seemed to find good form and I’m feeling a lot stronger. I was disappointed with the Europeans but it gave me that extra boost to come back and work even harder than before. This week I’m just hoping to improve my consistency and the way I’ve been training the last few weeks has given me the confidence that I’ll achieve that. The tournament is important for qualification but it’s just another step on the road to Tokyo; I’m in a qualification spot at the moment but it’s more about securing that spot.”
The squad is completed by Pathway athletes Cellan Hall and 16 year old Grace Williams who will be making her international debut.
The full British squad for the PTT Dutch Open is:
Sue Gilroy, 47, Barnsley (women’s class 4)
Cellan Hall, 21, Cardiff (men’s class 5)
Paul Karabardak, 34, Swansea (men’s class 6 – singles only)
Tom Matthews, 27, Aberdare (men’s class 1 – singles only)
David Wetherill, 29, Torpoint (men’s class 6 – singles only)
Grace Williams, 16, Wrexham (TBC)
Ross Wilson, 24, Minster/Sheffield (men’s class 8 – singles only)