Robert Davies in action at the British Para Open

Medal rush for GB athletes in front of home crowd

The GB para table tennis players have already secured four medals at the halfway point of the British Open Para Table Tennis Championships 2011.

An all-British singles men’s Class 1 final saw Robert Davies take gold against training partner Paul Davies, while Sue Gilroy MBE, from Barnsley, won bronze in women’s Class 4 and Will Bayley took bronze in the Class 7 men’s category.

Robert, who defeated friend and team mate Paul Davies 3-0, said: “It felt a little strange because I was playing my team partner.

“We train together and we encourage each other and we were both nervous because we both know each other’s tactics and weaknesses.”

The British Open is taking place at the English Institute of Sport, Sheffield, until Saturday September 17.

Having attracted more than 340 elite para table tennis players from 44 nations across the globe, it is a rare opportunity for GB players to compete in an international tournament on home soil.

Robert added: “It’s a good venue, the facilities are amazing, as good as any world championship’s. It’s good to have the competition inSheffield.”

Sue Gilroy MBE, who took bronze despite being on the road to recovery after recent surgery, said: “It feels fantastic. I’ve only been back 3 weeks but I’m finally playing well again.

“I feel really good now and my standard of playing is up. It’s fantastic being here and having family and friend’s support. It lifts you. It’s a really good venue, there’s no where better in the world and I have travelled all over. The facilities here are world class both for able-bodied and disabled athletes.”

Friday and Saturday will see the players compete in teams for the chance to gain more medals.

The British Open is supported by UK Sport, the British Association for People with Disabilities, Para ITTF, Sheffield City Council, the English Table Tennis Association,  Sheffield International Venues, Butterfly, Konica Minolta, MLS and HR Media.

For a full set of results and to find out more go to