25 August 2021
Hunter-Spivey, Stacey and Bayley straight through to table tennis quarter-finals
Jack Hunter-Spivey may not have known what anyone else’s cake would taste like but he served up his own tasty treat by dominating the world number two en route to the table tennis men’s singles class 5 quarter-finals.
Hunter-Spivey had never beaten Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Ming Chih in five previous meetings but blitzed his illustrious, highly-ranked opponent 11-3, 11-4, 11-3 before also securing an 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8 triumph over Bart Brands of Belgium in his second Group B game of the day.
“I’ve put all the work in and left no stone unturned,” said the 26-year-old Hunter-Spivey, who will face Norway’s Tommy Urhaug in the quarter-finals on Friday.
It is a bit like going to the Bake-Off and making a cake and you don’t know what anyone else’s cake is like.
“To beat the world number two quite comfortably is a surreal feeling, so I feel really emotional.
“I felt good going in but although I knew my level was higher, with the pandemic I didn’t know what the other athletes had been doing.
“It is a bit like going to the Bake-Off and making a cake and you don’t know what anyone else’s cake is like!
“All I ever wanted to do as a kid is to win a match at the Paralympics and I’ve done it.”
Joshua Stacey and Will Bayley also made it straight through to the quarter-finals in class 9 and class 7 respectively.
Stacey recorded a straight-games victory against Chaoming Chee (11-6, 11-8, 11-9) and a tense triumph over Mohamed Kalem (11-5, 8-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7) to top Group C but has his eyes on bigger prizes than just group-stage victories at his first Paralympic Games.
Joshua Stacey made it through to the quarter-finals
The Welshman, who will face Iurii Nozdrunov in the last eight said: “I think I want something a bit brighter and better to be one of my milestones and obviously a medal would be ideal.”
In the same class, Ashley Facey Thompson recorded a dramatic 8-11, 12-10, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7 win over Nozdrunov in the morning but an evening defeat to Lev Kats of Ukraine (7-11, 11-9, 8-11, 7-11) stopped him reaching the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, Bayley triumphed 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 over Chalermpong Punpoo from Thailand to reach the knockout stages in his title defence.
Will Bayley's title defence is still on track after an impressive win on Thursday
“I’m really pleased because every match is really difficult in class 7,” said Bayley. “To come through in straight sets today and 3-1 yesterday is pretty good but I know bigger challenges are in front of me in the quarter-finals.
“That is what I am thinking about now – one match at a time.”
A trio of Brits also reached the last 16 of the men’s class 8 singles, with Aaron McKibbin, Billy Shilton and Ross Wilson all ending the group stage with one win and one defeat.
Shilton suffered a 3-0 loss to Viktor Didukh in his first ever Paralympic match, but bounced back to beat African champion Victor Farinloye from Nigeria 3-0 later in the day, while McKibbin lost 3-0 to Piotr Grudzien of Poland and Wilson was edged out 3-2 by China’s Peng Weinan after both men won their openers on Thursday.
Ross Wilson will play a last-16 match on Friday
In the men’s class 6 singles, Paul Karabaradak began his fourth Games with a hard-fought 7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 12-10 victory against Bobi Simion of Romania to set him up for a clash with Australia’s Trevor Hirth in his final group game on Friday.
Elsewhere, Tom Matthews marked his Paralympic debut in the men’s class 1 singles by beating Rio bronze medallist Nam Ki Won from Korea 11-6, 11-6, 10-12, 11-9 and will take on RPC’s Dmitrii Lavrov in his other pool contest tomorrow, looking to reach the knockouts
But Susan Bailey and Megan Shackleton exited the women’s singles class 4 competition at the group stage, with the former losing 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 9-11 to Lu Pi-chun and Shackleton going down 7-11, 11-9, 15-17, 11-13 to Bhavina Hasmukhbhai Patel from India.
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