Jack Hunter-Spivey on the podium in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Jack-pot for Hunter-Spivey!

Author:
Francesca Bullock

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

Jack Hunter-Spivey produced a superb performance in Las Vegas to win gold in the men’s class 5 singles, defeating the world champion in the semi-finals and the London 2012 Paralympic champion in the final.

Leeds University medical student Kim Daybell took silver in men’s class 10 and 17-year-old Welshman Josh Stacey took bronze in men’s class 9.

Hunter-Spivey won his two group matches against Ahad Bakshaei Sarand from the USA and the Dutchman Gerardus Van Grunsven 3-0 and reached the semi-finals with a 3-0 win against the American Stuart Caplin in the quarter-finals.

The 22-year-old from Liverpool reached the final with a 3-0 win against world champion Valentin Baus from Germany and then clinched his first individual gold medal with a 3-2 win against his great friend and regular team partner Tommy Urhaug, the former Paralympic champion from Norway.

“It’s been a great tournament for me,” said Hunter-Spivey. “Two massive wins against Baus in the semi and then Tommy in the final – it’s incredible.

“It’s been a big goal for me to win a tournament and now I’ve finally won a tournament with some big wins and playing well so what I am doing in training is definitely paying off. I’m feeling great and what a great way to finish the season.”

Daybell topped his group with 3-0 wins against Hussein Sarfaraz Gibran from Guyana and the American Samuel Huang and as a result received a bye into the semi-finals. A win over Komet Akbar from Indonesia took him through to the final where he came up against the world No 2 David Jacobs in top form and the experienced Indonesian took the gold with a 3-0 win.

“It’s a nice way to finish the season with a silver medal,” said 25-year-old Daybell. “I struggled a little in the final against a tough opponent but I’m quite pleased with the way I played overall.”

Stacey began with a 3-0 win against the American Terrence Young Snr and following a 3-1 loss to world No 9 Koyo Iwabuchi from Japan he secured his place in the semi-finals with a 3-0 win against Kusnanto from Indonesia.

In only his second international tournament the talented teenager came agonisingly close to reaching the final, pushing world No 7 Tahl Leibovitz all the way before the American eventually took the match 14-12 in the fifth.

“I’m relatively pleased with the way I played,” said Stacey. “It was good to experience playing against players that are ranked at the top end of class 9 and to lose two close matches shows that I can compete at that level. Overall it’s been a good competition and I’m looking forward to trying to win another medal in the team event now.”

After a 3-0 win in his opening game against the American Edward Schneider, Martin Perry was beaten 3-0 by London 2012 Paralympic champion Rungroj Thainiyom from Thailand and a 3-1 loss in his final group match to the Chilean Matias Pino Lorca meant that he did not progress to the knockout stages of men’s class 6.

Self-funded athlete Farrel Anthony also went out of men’s class 7 at the group stage after losing his three matches.

Paralympic champion Will Bayley was withdrawn from the tournament before the start of the singles as he is still recovering from a recent eye operation.

* The British team took two silver medals in the team events on the final day of the event.

Daybell and Stacey lost a close final to Indonesia in men’s class 9-10 and Hunter-Spivey and his Swedish team partner Bernt Norgren lost to Germany in the final of men’s class 3-5.

Daybell and Stacey, playing together here for the first time, were quickly into their stride with a 2-0 win against Puerto Rica and after winning the doubles against Denmark, 17-year-old Stacey secured another 2-0 win with a fine 3-2 victory against class 10 player Martin Neilsen.

A 2-0 win against a combined team from Guyana and USA took them through to the semi-finals where they beat USA 2-1 with Daybell securing the deciding singles 3-0 against Jerry Vasquez.

In the final the British pair lost the doubles but Stacey levelled the tie with a determined 3-2 win against class 10 player Komet Akbar. In a repeat of the class 10 singles final Daybell fought hard against David Jacobs and levelled at 2-2 but the world No 2 took the final set to win the gold for Indonesia.

With two silver medals this has been a successful tournament for 25-year-old Daybell and a good finish to a season in which he won his first major medal at the European Championships.

“I thought Josh played really well,” he said. “It was interesting playing with a new partner as I haven’t played with anyone else for a long time but we were a good combination and in the future with Ash (regular team partner Ashley Facey Thompson) we could be a really strong team and it is nice to have different options within the team.

“Overall I think he played really well considering it was his first factor 40 event and I was quite pleased with my performance as well so it was good for both of us.”

“It was really good to play with Kim in the team event,” said Stacey, “as he is really experienced. It helped to play with him especially in the doubles so I’m really pleased to get another good result.”

Men’s class 5 singles gold medallist Hunter-Spivey and the unranked Norgren, silver medallist in the men’s class 4 singles here, were seeded fourth in their group and lost their opening doubles match to USA1 but they came through that tie 2-1 after taking both singles matches 3-1.

They went on to beat Norway 2-0 and a combined team from Korea and USA 2-0 to top their group and go through to a semi-final against USA2. A 2-0 win put them into the final against Germany and after losing the doubles with his partner Hunter-Spivey was unable to repeat his singles win yesterday against world champion Valentin Baus and the German was a 3-0 winner to take the gold for his team.

“We were seeded fourth in the group so to get a medal and into the final was a good result,” said the 22 year old from Liverpool. “Playing with a new team partner was a challenge but he’s a good player and we had some good doubles matches and came through against some strong teams. In the final it didn’t go our way – Germany are a very strong team – but overall it’s been a very good tournament for me.”

Perry and Anthony faced a tough task in the men’s class 6-7 team event and went out at the group stage after losses to a combined team from Thailand and Japan and The Netherlands.

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