14 October 2018

Ashley Facey-Thompson confident ahead of World Championship debut

Ashley Facey-Thompson will be the first to admit he’s surpassed even his own expectations this year.

Reaching the final of both the Slovakian and Slovenian Open, the Rio 2016 Paralympian feels he has turned a corner ahead of the World Para Table Tennis Championships.

Now the 23-year-old is hoping to put on a show on the world stage in Slovenia.

But, with a knee injury niggling away at him, Facey-Thompson knows that’s an achievement that won’t come without a lot of effort at his maiden World Championships.

“Preparations have been very good, I’ve been playing well,” he said.

“I’ve injured my knee a bit, but I’ve just got to maintain it and look after it. We have got a good physio and good science guys here so everything is in place for the World Championships.

“This has been one of the best seasons, I got to the final in Slovakia in the team event and in the singles. I beat some of the top ten players and some of them twice.

“It was a different Ashley, I was believing, I was fighting, and I felt like a great athlete in every tournament.

“Moving up to Sheffield gave me the confidence to play every day and you believe every day about your training and working on things that make you feel like a professional athlete.

“When I first came in I was so nervous, but I am definitely focusing more every day and it’s become the norm now.”

Ashley Facey-Thompson made his Paralympic debut in 2016

Scooping silver at the 2017 European Championships in Lasko, Slovenia, a maiden major singles final proved a breakthrough moment for the Londoner, one he has looked to build on.

But pressure to repeat the feat at the worlds is not something that’s on Facey-Thompson’s mind.

Instead, participation is providing its own delight for the Paralympian, already harnessing a sense of achievement prior to taking to the table in Slovenia.

“This is my first worlds – I missed out last time because I didn’t qualify, but I am looking forward to it,” he added.

“I’ve played in the European and Paralympic Games but to compete at all of them is a huge achievement for me.

“I want to have fun, enjoy it and enjoy the World Championships as my first one and take every match as it is.

“I’m not worrying because I’ve got no expectations of me, I want to go out there, fight my hardest and take every result as it comes and see what the outcome is at the end.

“But winning a medal would mean more than anything.”

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