Para duo seek World Champs qualification in San Diego

Russell Moore

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GB Performance Squad players Paul Karabardak and Jack Hunter-Spivey will be looking to secure qualification for next year’s World Para Table Tennis Championships when they compete in the Mike Dempsey Memorial Championships taking place in San Diego, USA from December 5-7.

Karabardak, from Swansea, is currently world ranked 16 in men’s class 7 and took a bronze medal in the team event at this year’s European Championships with Will Bayley.

The 28-year-old Paralympian, who represented GB in both Beijing and London, is hoping to improve his ranking with a good performance this week and pick up another singles medal, having taken bronze in the men’s class 7 singles at the Hungarian Open earlier this year.

Widnes teenager Hunter-Spivey, has shown steady improvement throughout this season and, after competing with credit in his first European Championships, he achieved his best international result to date with a silver medal in the class 5 men’s singles in Belgium last month.

“I am hoping to have a good competition in San Diego and take a medal if I can,” said the 18-year-old. “It will be a tough competition as everyone is fighting for qualification slots for the World championships but coming off the back of a good performance in Belgium hopefully I can take that momentum to the USA and do well.

“Since Belgium I have been really enjoying training and I’m feeling really good and happy with the level I am playing at the moment.”

Also competing in San Diego will be two players from the GB Pathway Squad – Billy Shilton, 15, from Stonehouse in Gloucestershire and Thomas Matthews, 20, from Aberdare.

GB Performance Director Gorazd Vecko said: “This is the last chance for our players to qualify for next year’s World Championships and we are hoping that both Paul and Jack will finish this year with a high enough ranking to allow them to compete in China in 2014.

“Billy and Thomas will benefit from the experience of another international competition and are showing great potential for the future.”

Written by Francesca Bullock (December 4, 2013)

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