PAUL KARABARDAK AND TOM MATTHEWS BOTH CLAIM BRONZE
It’s a day of celebration for our Welsh players with both Paul Karabardak and Tom Matthews adding to the Paralympics GB medal tally.
Men’s Singles Class 1
In the semi-final Tom Matthews faced the World Champion Hyeon Uk Kim and it was the Korean who took the first game 11-7. The Welshman responded by having a game point at 10-9 but a service error allowed Kim to level and he went on to win the game 12-10. Matthews showed real determination to come back from 9-5 down to level at 9-9 in the third but Kim eventually took the game 11-9 and win the match 3-0. Despite the defeat the result still means a jubilant Matthews has claimed bronze at his first ever Paralympic Games.
Men’s Singles Class 6
There’s no doubt that Paul Karabardak’s victory in the quarter finals took its toll emotionally and physically eventually beating the World bronze medallist Hong Kyu Park from Korea in a nail-biting match to progress to the semi-finals. However, his next opponent Ian Seidenfeld (son of Mitchell Seidenfeld, men’s class 8 Paralympic Champion in 1992) was in superb form to claim the match 3-0 (11-6, 11-2, 11-6)
It’s a fantastic performance from Karabardak as he has never won a Paralympic medal despite claiming World and European medals during an International career that has spanned 20 years.
Men’s Singles Class 9
Josh Stacey progressed through to the quarter finals but it was the experience of the World silver medallist Iurii Nozdrunov of Russia which proved to be the deciding factor and he claimed the win but Stacey has looked impressive throughout at what is the 21-year-old’s first ever Paralympics.
Rhian Pearce, CEO Table Tennis Wales said: ‘Everyone at TTW is so proud of all our player’s achievements so far in Tokyo. It’s been an incredible Paralympic debut for both Tom and Josh while what a fantastic achievement for Paul at his 4th Paralympics.’
Josh Morgan, National Coach added: ‘The success is testament to all our players as we know how hard they have trained leading up to the Paralympics proving how committed and determined they are. They are all a credit to the GB Para Table Tennis team.’
With the team event starting on Monday (30th August) Paul and Josh along with their teammates have every chance to add to the Paralympics GB Team medal haul and personal medal tally so everyone at TTW wishes them all the best for continued success in Tokyo!