Bayley into final as GB fight for 4 medals

Author:
Russell Moore

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Please note - this news article was published more than five years ago. Some of the information contained may no longer be correct.

Will Bayley will attempt to win Great Britain’s first-ever table tennis Paralympic gold medal when he takes on Jochen Wallmert from Germany on Sunday afternoon.

The Class 7 world number two will, with victory, potentially return to world number one after Ukranian Mykhaylo Popov (the current world number one) lost in his semi-final to the German who now faces Bayley. However, this will matter little in comparison to the tangible target of a London 2012 gold medal.

Bayley wasted no time in his final preliminary round match, beating potentially difficult Chinese opponent Liao Keli 3-0 to advance to the semi-finals. There he faced Popov’s Ukranian team-mate Maxym Nikolenko for a place in Sunday’s final.

Once again the Englishman was on fine form and eased into a 2-0 lead with 11-8 and 11-3 games. Although he missed out on a straight games win by losing the third 13-11, the fourth game went all one way as Bayley assured himself of a medal come what may when he takes to the table at 17:15.

He isn’t the only one in with a chance of medalling, however, as Ross Wilson, Paul Davies and Sara Head will all play in bronze medal play-off matches on Monday in their respective classes.

Wilson beat Polish player Marcin Skrzynecki in the quarter-finals but lost in a dramatic five-game match in the semi-final to Chinese and world number one Zhao Shuai. With victory in his grasp – leading 2-0 and at 10-10 in the third game, the 17-year-old couldn’t quite finish the job as Shuai fought back to reach the final.

Wilson will now have to beat second seed Emil Andersson from Sweden for the bronze medal.

Sara Head will face a similar challenge after her gold medal march was halted by Austrian Doris Mader in the semi-final. Head did brilliantly to hold her nerve against Mateja Pintar (SLO) to win the deciding fifth game 11-3 but found Mader too hot to handle.

She will now face  third seed Alena Kanova from Russia for that all-important momento from London 2012.

Meanwhile, Paul Davies had an exceptional win against Beijing Olympic Champion Andreas Vevera (AUT) to book his place in the semi-finals before he eventually lost to number one seed Holger Nikelis (GER).

Davies recovered from 2-1 down to level the match at 12-10 after saving two match points against his Austrian opponent. The Welshman then held his nerve to take the final game 11-8 and reach the semi-final stage.

Although he lost to Nikelis, he will now face fourth seed Lee Chang Ho from Korea with nothing to lose and, potentially, an Olympic bronze medal to gain.

The worst case scenario will see the Great Britain Paralympic squad leave the ExCeL on Sunday evening with a silver medal. The best case scenario will see them march out with a gold medal and three more bronze medals on Monday – wouldn’t that be a sight to see?

With all the possibilities open tonight don’t forget to catch all the action tomorrow from ExCeL as the singles events come to a close. Perhaps there will be some sleepless nights in the Olympic village tonight with what is at stake tomorrow.

Paralympic Games Results:
Class 1

Jean-Francois Ducay (FRA) bt Robert Davies 3-2 (11-5, 11-8, 4-11, 8-11, 11-9)
Paul Davies bt Andreas Vevera (AUT) 3-2 (11-5, 7-11, 2-11, 12-10, 11-8)
Semi-final
Holger Nikelis (GER) bt Paul Davies 3-0 (11-3, 11-8, 11-8)
Class 3
Sara Head bt Mateja Pintar (SLO) 3-2 (11-6, 10-12, 7-11, 11-9, 11-3)
Anna-Carin Ahlquist (SWE) bt Jane Campbell 3-0 (11-3, 11-3, 11-8)
Semi-final
Doris Mader (AUT) bt Sara Head 3-0 (11-8, 11-6, 12-10)
Class 7
Mykhaylo Popov (UKR) bt Paul Karabardak 3-0 (11-8, 11-3, 11-6)
Will Bayley bt Liao Keli (CHN) 3-0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-8)
Semi-final
Will Bayley bt Maxym Nikolenko (UKR) 3-1 (11-8, 11-3, 11-13, 11-5)
Class 8
Ross Wilson bt Marcin Skrzynecki (POL) 3-1 (11-2, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7)
Semi-final
Zhao Shuai (CHN) bt Ross Wilson 3-2 (9-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-6)
Class 6
Thomasz Kusiak (GER) bt David Wetherill 3-1 (7-11, 11-5, 25-23, 11-7)
Class 10
Lian Hao (CHN) bt Kim Daybell 3-2 (9-11, 5-11, 11-9, 16-14, 11-7)

Fixtures:
SUN 17:15 Class 7 Gold medal match: Will Bayley vs Jochen Wallmert (GER)
MON 10:15 Class 3 Bronze medal match: Sara Head vs Alena Kanova (RUS)
MON 11:45 Class 1 Bronze medal match: Paul Davies vs Lee Chang Ho (KOR)
MON 12:30 Class 8 Bronze medal match: Ross Wilson vs Emil Andersson (SWE)

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