19 October 2018
Wilson conquers world and sets sights on Tokyo
Ross Wilson says gold at his first-ever World Para Table Tennis Championships has redoubled his motivation to ‘push on’ towards glory at Tokyo 2020.
Wilson, 23, claimed a 12-10 7-11 10-12 14-12 12-10 victory in a dramatic class 8 final against double Paralympic champion Zhao Shuai, capping a sensational season in Slovenia.
The Minster-born ace grabbed gold at the Commonwealth Games in April and is in the form of his life having shaken off a serious of injuries.
"It has been an amazing year from me"
“I really can’t believe it,” said Wilson.
“I have been so logical through this whole competition and in the final I was just trying to focus on my game, before all the emotion just came out at the end.
“It is just about pushing on now. There is so much room for improvement still and when I get back in the training hall I’ll look at ways to do that.
“It has been an amazing year from me with the Commonwealths and now this - I’m going for Tokyo now and that is my main goal.”
Wilson exorcised a demon in the semi-finals, pushing past Poland’s Marcin Skryznecki who beat him in the World Championships and Rio Paralympics.
In the final against Zhao he had further wrongs to right having been beaten by the world number two in Paralympics in London and Rio.
At 2-1 down in the final it looked as if Wilson would have to settle for silver but he refused to give up and saved two match points to claim the crucial fourth 14-12.
Zhao took the early initiative in the deciding set, leading 6-3, but Wilson again fought back and held his nerve on his first match point to take it 14-12.
Wilson in action at Rio 2016
“After that third game I just thought I’m going to have to stick in here, just keep going and keep my strategy,” said Wilson.
“It’s incredible. I was down in the fourth and the fifth but fortunately I put enough pressure on him to get back in.”
On a super Saturday for the GB team, Fliss Pickard took bronze in women’s class 6 and Tom Matthews bronze in men’s class 1.
Pickard, 26, took the lead against Russia’s Raisa Chebanika in the semi-final but couldn’t quite claim the scalp of the European champion, losing 3-1.
"This is my first World Championships and I’ve got a medal so I’m over the moon."
“I thought in parts I played really well and things I had been working on in training came off,” said the Burnley star.
“I always believe I can win a match. I can be 10-0 down and I’ll still keep fighting for every point because I believe I can win.”
Matthews, who pulled off a heroic comeback against Federico Falco on Friday night, fell just short of a repeat against world number one Young Dae Joo.
“It was a difficult match – I felt that I played well but he was just a bit more consistent on the day,” said the 26-year-old, beaten 3-1.
“This is my first World Championships and I’ve got a medal so I’m over the moon.”
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