Rob Davies

Rob Davies MBE

Athlete Information

  • Region

    Brecon

  • Date of Birth

    13/08/1984

  • Classification

    Class 1

Athlete main content

Bio

Rio 2016 was a dream come true for the pride of Brecon and he laid the ghost of London 2012 when he became men’s class 1 Paralympic champion.

Born and bred in Wales, Rob played semi-professional rugby until a spinal cord injury while playing left him wheelchair-bound at the age of 21. In a bizarre twist of fate, at the same time that Rob was injured his twin brother Rich was involved in a serious car accident on the way to the match but went on to make a full recovery.

While undergoing rehab at Rookwood Hospital in Cardiff, Rob was encouraged to take up table tennis by Para table tennis international Sara Head, who was doing voluntary work at the hospital.

In 2007 he became part of the GB Development squad and after taking silver medals in the individual and team events at the European championships in 2011 realised his ambition of competing in the London 2012 Paralympic Games. He admits that London was a massive learning curve and although he enjoyed the experience he was disappointed to come away without a medal, losing a vital group match to the then World number one Jean-Francois Ducay from France 3-2.

Rob’s aim for 2013 was to improve his consistency and his world ranking of six and he achieved even more than he had hoped for – defeating Ducay and Paralympic champion Holger Nikelis on his way to becoming European champion, taking gold in the team event as well with fellow Welshman Paul Davies and replacing Nikelis as world number one in October.

In the 2014 World Championships in China Rob showed all his fighting spirit to reach the final of the men’s class 1 singles but had to settle for silver after a 3-1 loss to the Korean Changho Lee.

He successfully defended his European singles title the following year in Denmark beating old rival and the current World number one Jean-Francois Ducay in the final. With Paul Davies absent due to injury Rob had a new team partner in another Welshman Tom Matthews and the pair took gold in the round-robin team event to crown a successful competition for Rob.

At the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Rob came through two tough group matches 3-2 to win his group and after defeating old rival Ducay in the quarter-finals and the Hungarian Endre Major in the semi-finals he beat the Korean Young Dae Joo in the final 3-1 to take Paralympic gold.

At the end of 2016 Rob received an MBE in the New Year Honours List and in July 2017 he married his fiancée Megan. He won his third consecutive European title in Slovenia, leading an historic one-two-three for GB in men class 1 after beating old friend Paul Davies in the semi-finals and young pretender Tom Matthews in the final.

Rob won his fourth consecutive European singles title in 2019, an achievement that led to him being nominated again for the Male Para Table Tennis Star award at the prestigious 2019 ITTF Star Awards.

Away from the table Rob enjoys weight training and getting out and about in the countryside on his off-road buggy, accompanied by his terrier Roger.

Major Results

2016 Results Paralympic Games, Rio de Janeiro

  • Men’s singles (class 1): Gold

2019 European Championships, Sweden

  • Men’s singles (class 1): Gold

2017 European Championships, Lasko, Slovenia

  • Men’s singles (class 1): Gold

2015 European Championships, Vejle, Denmark

  • Men’s singles (class 1): Gold
  • Men’s teams (class 1): Gold

2014 World Championships, Beijing, China

  • Men’s singles (class 1): Silver

2013 European Championships, Lignano, Italy

  • Men’s singles (class 1): Gold
  • Men’s teams (class 1): Gold

2011 European Championships, Split, Croatia

  • Men’s singles (class 1): Silver
  • Men’s teams (class 1): Silver

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