PAUL KARABARDAK AND WILL BAYLEY TAKE SILVER
Paul Karabardak and Will Bayley gave their all in the final and battled hard but they eventually lost out to a very strong Chinese team.
After a fantastic performance in the semi-final when Karabardak and Bayley beat Spain, their opponents in the final were the men’s class 7 singles gold and bronze medallists Yan Shuo and Liao Keli. China started well, claiming the first game 11-7 but Karabardak and Bayley fought back and at 10-8 had two points to level the match but the Chinese pairing came back to win the game 12-10 and were then dominant in the third (11-2) to take a 1-0 lead.
In what was a rematch of their singles final Bayley faced Yan and the British player made his intentions clear right from the start, claiming the first game 11-7. In what proved to be crucial to the match, Bayley came back from 5-1 down to level at 6-6 but a backh
and into the net at 10-9 lost him game point and Yan eventually won the game 15-13 to level the score at 1-1.
Yan then proved dominant winning the third 11-6 and the fourth 11-4 to win 3-1 and claim the gold medal for China 2-0 with Karabardak and Bayley taking silver.
It’s been an amazing Games for the two players who are best friends away from the table – for Bayley, he becomes the most successful British table tennis player in the modern era of the Paralympic Games; for Karabardak, a team silver and men’s class 6 singles bronze – his first Paralympic medals in 4 Paralympics. The Welshman has played superbly throughout the Games and there have been some memorable matches including the fantastic win in the semi-finals against Alvaro Valera. The Spaniard is ranked world number 1 in class 6 and Karabardak has never beaten him before – in fact before the semi-finals Valera was 12-0 up on match wins. It’s testament to Karabardak and that amazing performance that secured a spot in the final!
QUARTER FINALS SUCCESS FOR JOSH STACEY AND ASHLEY FACEY THOMPSON
Meanwhile Josh Stacey and Ashley Facey Thompson reached the quarter-finals of the men’s class 9-10 team event. After a fantastic win against Spain the GB Para table tennis duo faced Paralympic Champions China and fought valiantly against class 10 World number three Lian Hao and class 9 World number seven Zhao Yi Qing, eventually losing 11-5 in the fifth.
It was Facey Thompson versus Lian in the first singles and despite winning the second game 11-9 to level the score, Lian went on to win the match 3-1 and the tie for China 2-0.