11 May 2018
Three medals for British para table tennis team
Para table tennis stars Paul Karabardak, Martin Perry and David Wetherill secured silver at the Slovenian Open as Great Britain finished with three medals in team events.
The European champions were runners-up to Romanian Bobi Simion and Georgios Mouchthis from Greece in the men’s class six, with Simion beating Karabardak in the decisive final singles match.
The Romanian won 3-1 and that proved crucial in a tight contest, where Perry picked up a win in the singles.
“Bobi is the toughest player for me apart from the top two or three,” admitted Karabardak.
“But I felt that I had a very good chance playing a more defensive tactic and then trying to pick him off, whereas in the past I’ve tried to attack too much and I think that worked for me.
“So that is positive going forward as I’ve got more of an idea of how to play him and hopefully that will work next time.
I’m disappointed that it wasn’t gold but happy with silver and it was a solid performance.
“On the whole I think we have done well because to beat Germany 2-0 in the semi-finals was a good win as they are both good players.”
Elsewhere, Tom Matthews and Argentinian Guillermo Bastamante Sierra clinched silver in the first event they have competed with each other as a pair.
The men’s class 1 stars lost to world champions Italy in their opening match but improved as the tournament progressed – eventually beating Sung Joo Park from Korea and Alan Papirer from France to take silver.
Ross Wilson took bronze alongside Aaron McKibbin
“Guillermo is a really nice guy and we gelled quite well,” said Matthews.
“He’s got really good English so it was quite easy to understand what he wanted to do and what I wanted do to so we got on perfectly.
“We improved throughout the tournament and it went really well. I’m much happier with the team event than I was after the singles - it was a shame I couldn’t do it in the singles but that is the way it goes sometimes.
“I’m really happy that I came back fighting. I’ve had a few difficult matches with the heat here but I’m really happy.”
In other action, Commonwealth champion Ross Wilson and Aaron McKibbin took bronze in the men’s class eight.
They were beaten narrowly by Ukraine in the semi-finals, with Ivan Mai beating McKibbin in the fourth game of their deciding singles match.
“It has been a good two tournaments for me in Slovakia and Slovenia and overall I’ve performed well in all my matches even the ones I’ve lost so it is going in the right direction,” McKibbin said.
“I know what I need to work on now and I’ve definitely taken a big step up since Italy so hopefully I can keep that going.”