Paul Davies at the Rio Paralympics in 2016 (ITTF picture)

Brilliant Davies back from the brink

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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

Paul Davies saved seven match points to book his place in the quarter-finals at the Paralympic table tennis event in Rio – one of eight Brits to make it through.

Davies battled back from 10-5 down in the fifth to Aloisio Lima of the host nation, who was supported by a noisy partisan crowd, to level at 10-10 and then saved two more match points before finally triumphing 14-12.

“At 5-10 down in the fifth I just chucked everything at it basically and it paid off,” said Davies.

“To have the Brazilian crowd making so much noise – which I’d experienced before in London but that was a home crowd and this is an away games – did lift me as well because I used it to my advantage.

“Then to get back to 10-10 and save the last two match points as well – I’m overwhelmed. To get to the quarter-finals is amazing – I’m overjoyed.”

His next match is tonight against Kiwon Nam of Korea – and team-mate Rob Davies is also in action at the same stage against Jean-Francois Ducay of France.

David Wetherill, Kim Daybell and Sara Head also made it through to the latter stages today, joining Sue Gilroy, Will Bayley, Aaron McKibbin and Rob Davies who had already booked their places.

Wetherill defeated Matia Pino of Chile in four sets in the last 16 and next faces world champion and world No 1 Alvaro Valera of Spain tonight.

Daybell prevailed in a five-setter, against Bas Hergelink of the Netherlands, and plays his quarter-final tomorrow against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.

“He is one of the young up-and-coming players,” said Daybell, “and is probably going to be one of the best players in the world one day. Sometimes he comes out and plays sets like the first and for me it was about not panicking and sticking to what I knew was working.

“We’ve done a lot of work on my psychology over the last two or three years – I’ve lost a lot of close games in the past having been ahead – so I was able to calm down a little bit in the fifth and just do what I needed to do and come through.”

Kim Daybell celebrates his victory today (ITTF picture)

Head came through a group and first-round match today, the latter in fine style in three straight against Helena Dretar Karic of Croatia. Her quarter-final is also tomorrow.

McKibbin, Bayley and Gilroy all play later tonight.

Ashley Facey Thompson and Jane Campbell went out of their respective competitions after suffering defeats today – Facey Thompson to former world and Paralympic champion Stanislaw Fraczyk of Austria.

Results

Men’s Singles, Class 9
Group C
Stanislaw Fraczyk (AUT) bt Ashley Facey Thompson 3-0 (11-8, 12-10, 11-6)

WS3
Group A
Sara Head bt Maria Edith Sigala Lopez (MEX) 3-2 (8-11, 11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9)

Round 1
Sara Head bt Helena Dretar Karic (CRO) 3-0 (11-8, 11-8, 11-6)

Group B
Hatice Duman (TUR) bt Jane Campbell 3-2 (11-5, 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-2)

MS1
Group C
Paul Davies bt Aloisio Lima (BRA) 3-2 (7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 5-11, 14-12)

MS10
Group B
Kim Daybell bt Bas Hergelink (NED) 3-2 (4-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-13, 11-5)

MS6
Round 1
David Wetherill bt Matias Pino (CHI) 3-1 (11-9, 11-7, 4-11, 11-9)

Later matches (Times are UK)
9.30pm
Quarter-final
David Wetherill v Alvaro Valera (ESP)

WS4
Quarter-final
Sue Gilroy v Sandra Mikolaschek

10.15pm
MS7
Quarter-final
Will Bayley v Sayed Youssef (EGY)

11pm
MS1
Quarter-finals
Rob Davies v Jean-Francois Ducay (FRA)
Paul Davies v Kiwon Nam (KOR)

MS8
Quarter-final
Aaron McKibbin v TBC

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