Rob Davies

Gilroy, Bayley and Davies into semis

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Sue Gilroy, Will Bayley and Rob Davies are into the Paralympic semi-finals in Rio and are all one win away from a medal.

Gilroy saved three match points – one in the fourth and two in the fifth – as she twice came from behind to defeat Germany’s Sandra Mikolaschek 3-2 on her own second match point in Class 4.

Gilroy, from Barnsley, said: “Not getting out of my group in four previous Paralympic Games has been so tough but I just love the game and to come here on my fifth Paralympics to get through my group and to come out today and fight back from 2-1 down and win in the fifth – I’m just thrilled.

“This is the medal that has always eluded me but I’m just taking it one step at a time – I’m now in the semi-final and when I’ve calmed down from this I just need to start again and focus on that match now.”

Gilroy will play Borislava Peric-Rankovic of Serbia in the last four in a repeat of their semi-final in the World Championships in 2014 which Gilroy won 3-2.

Davies went through in Class 1 as the result of a 3-0 over Jean-Francois Ducay of France, who had beaten him in the group stage at London 2012.

But the scoreline hides a remarkable third set, with Davies taking it 22-20 on his 10th match point.

“I’m relieved and thrilled,” said Davies. “I didn’t want to give him that third end because if you give him an inch he will take a mile.

“He is one of the top guys in Paralympic table tennis in my class and has been for years and it has been a battle with him for eight years and to get my revenge on him for London is sweet for sure.”

In the same class, Paul Davies was beaten 3-0 by Kiwon Nam of South Korea.

Meanwhile, Bayley’s 3-0 win over Egypt’s Sayed Youssef in Class 7 was never in doubt and he said: “I think today was my best performance of this season.

“I felt super sharp and didn’t really let him have any chances in the match so it was good.”

David Wetherill narrowly missed out on joining the trio in the semi-finals despite holding a match point at 2-0, 10-9 against Alvaro Valera, the world champion and world No 1, in Class 6

But the Cornishman saw his opponent fight back and take it in a decider.

“It’s a bit raw, to be honest,” said Wetherill. “I did everything I could. I’ve really struggled this week to find my feeling for the ball and it clicked into gear mentally today. I was so on it and I feel that I played him tactically perfect.

“On another day I could have won that point and I’d be in the semi-finals but I can be proud of how I played today.”

Aaron McKibbin in action in Rio (ITTF picture)

Aaron McKibbin was beaten 3-0 in Class 8 by Hungary’s Andras Csonka and said: “I’m happy to have got to the quarter-finals but I’m disappointed that my level wasn’t the same as yesterday. But he played very well and I struggled really.”

The semi-finals are later on Sunday, with Sara Head and Kim Daybell also in action in the quarter-finals – see schedule below.

Today’s matches (UK times)

1.30pm
Men’s Singles, Class 10
Quarter-final
Lian Hao (CHN) v Kim Daybell

WS3
Quarter-final
Sara Head v Li Qian (CHN)

3pm
MS7
Semi-final
Will Bayley v Jordi Morales (ESP)

3.45pm
WS4
Semi-final
Borislava Peric-Rankovic (SRB) v Sue Gilroy

4.30pm
MS1
Semi-final
Rob Davies v Endre Major (HUN)

Results

Men’s Singles, Class 6
Quarter-final
Alvaro Valera (ESP) bt David Wetherill 3-2 (9-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8)

WS4
Quarter-final
Sue Gilroy bt Sandra Mikolaschek (GER) 3-2 (6-11, 12-10, 8-11, 13-11, 13-11)

MS7
Quarter-final
Will Bayley bt Sayed Youssef (EGY) 3-0 (11-4, 11-6, 11-9)

MS1
Quarter-finals
Rob Davies bt Jean-Francois Ducay (FRA) 3-0 (13-11, 11-4, 22-20)
Kiwon Nam (KOR) bt Paul Davies 3-0 (11-8, 12-10, 11-4)

MS8
Quarter-final
Andras Csonka (HUN) bt  Aaron McKibbin 3-0 (11-9, 11-8, 11-4)

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