Tremendous Performances from our GB Para Table Tennis Players in the Teams’ Events in Tokyo


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!



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.