Will Bayley training in Rio (ITTF picture)

Bayley: We are prepared and confident

Author:
Paul Stimpson

Publish date:

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

The big day is here! The Paralympics get under way in Rio today as Paralympic GB go for gold.

The table tennis tournament starts tomorrow, with 13 athletes in action for GB.

Concluding our previews, we focus today on five players who will be looking to add to medals they won at London 2012.

 

Will Bayley (age 28, from Tunbridge Wells)
Classes: men’s class 7 singles (SM7) and men’s class 6-8 team (TM6-8)
Won singles silver and team bronze at London 2012

I’m delighted with my preparation. I had the best training camp in Slovenia that I’ve ever had. I was really focused and worked really hard. I’ve just got to go out there now and do the business.

I just want to get started and get into the tournament. I feel that I have prepared more diligently for this Games than any other tournament I’ve ever played in. I’ve worked really hard with my coaches in the last few months to really nail what we are going to do.

I feel great and so well prepared. I’m really confident that not just me but the whole team are going to perform well for GB.

 

Aaron McKibbin (25, London)
Classes: SM8 and TM6-8
Won team bronze at London 2012

I’m just excited now to get out there and get started.

We’ve had a long period without competition and the other day we played a national competition to get some match practice and I had some good results there so I’m feeling confident going in that my level is where it needs to be – it is just about putting the pieces together on the day.

I feel that every major I’ve played I’ve improved my performance and for me it is a confidence thing; if I believe in myself I’ll play my best and if I do that then I can beat anyone. If I can bring my best level then I will be happy with my performance.

 

Ross Wilson (21, Minster)
Classes: SM8 and TM6-8
Won team bronze at London 2012

The training camp in Slovenia was great – we had a lot of sparring partners over there and it really was good.

Since we’ve been back from there we’ve really kicked on in training and everything is going well. The team is really well prepared and I can’t wait to see how everyone else does as well.

Everyone wants to win a medal and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want a medal but with everything that has happened since London success for me would be just giving it everything and taking each game as it comes – and if that results in a medal I’d be over the moon.

But if not, I just want to do myself and my country proud.”

 

Jane Campbell (48, London)
Classes: SF3 and TF1-3
Won team bronze at London 2012

Preparation has been building and building and I feel as though I am just about peaking at the right time.

We had a training camp in Slovenia with lots of teams from other countries so it gives you a lot of variation and I find it also increases the pressure a bit and gets you used to dealing with more stressful situations.

I want to try to avoid going in to Rio with too many expectations and accept that we need to play our very best – the standard is exceptionally high and to come away with another medal would be amazing but we can only play the best we can.

Representing GB at a Paralympic Games means the world to me – it is such an honour and I’m immensely proud to be representing my country again.

 

Sara Head (36, Pontypridd)
Classes: SF3 and TF1-3
Won team bronze at London 2012

I’m actually feeling more ready than I have ever felt.

I think that London was such an exhilarating experience but it was also a massive learning curve and I really feel that the experience of London is still benefiting me and helping me in my preparation for Rio.

It hasn’t been the two years of preparation that I would have liked, due to injury and illness, but I am playing better than I was before London so that is giving me confidence and I can’t wait to go to Rio now.

I want to perform my best – if I go out there and perform my best and do everything the way I want then anything can happen.

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