British Table Tennis Stars Shine at Paralympic World Qualification Tournament

British Table Tennis Stars Shine at Paralympic World Qualification Tournament in Pattaya

As the Paralympic World Qualification Tournament in Pattaya, Thailand enters its final day, several British table tennis stars remain in contention for a place in the Paralympic tournament in Paris. Chris Ryan (men’s class 2), Jack Hunter-Spivey (men’s class 5), and Megan Shackleton (women’s class 4) have all advanced to the semi-finals, showcasing their skill and determination.

In the men’s class 2 event, Ryan faced a tough battle against world No. 14 Guilherme Marcio Da Costa from Brazil, but ultimately prevailed in a five-set thriller. Despite losing the first set, Ryan bounced back to take the next two before his Brazilian opponent leveled the match. In the decider, Ryan’s resilience shone through as he emerged victorious. He then went on to defeat Peter Isherwood of Canada and world No. 21 Masanori Uno of Japan in equally tense five-set encounters, setting up a semi-final clash with world No. 12 Thirayu Chueawong from Thailand.

“It’s been a tough but rewarding tournament so far, and I’m proud to have made it to the semi-finals,” said Ryan. “I’m looking forward to the next challenge and giving it my all to secure a spot in the Paralympic Games.”

Jack Hunter-Spivey, in the men’s class 5 event, had lost his previous two matches against Sem Roelofs this season but managed to overcome the Dutch world No. 20 in a tight four-set battle. Despite a slow start, Hunter-Spivey showcased his fighting spirit, coming from behind to secure the win. He then overcame the in-form Norakan Chanpahaka from Thailand in the quarter-finals and will now face world bronze medallist Lucas Carvalhal Arabian from Brazil in the semi-finals.

Megan Shackleton, in the women’s class 4 event, cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory against the Kazakhstan Para Open bronze medallist Alexandra Stepanova. She then demonstrated her resilience against the world No. 13 Lu Pi-chun from Chinese Taipei, twice leveling the match before narrowly losing the deciding set. Shackleton will now face the 18-year-old Ena Miyazaki from Japan in the quarter-finals.

While there were some disappointments, with Tom Matthews (men’s class 1) and Ross Wilson (men’s class 9) losing in the quarter-finals, and Theo Bishop (men’s class 7) and Grace Williams (women’s class 8) exiting at the group stage, the strong performances of Ryan, Hunter-Spivey, and Shackleton have given British table tennis fans plenty to cheer about as the tournament reaches its climax.

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