Jack Hunter-Spivey

Jack Hunter-Spivey and his Norwegian team partner Tommy Urhaug took the gold medal in the men’s class 5 team event on the final day of the Slovakia Open – and the GB Para Table Tennis Team also picked up two bronze medals with Rob Davies and Tom Matthews in men’s class 1 and Aaron McKibbin and Ashley Facey Thompson in men’s class 9.

Hunter-Spivey and Urhaug had beaten Spain in the quarter-finals 3-2, with Hunter-Spivey clinching the tie with a 3-2 win against Francisco Javier Lopez Sayago, and then enjoyed a more comfortable 3-0 win against Korea to take them through to the final against a team of Nicolas Savant-Aira, the world No 5 from France, and the Brazilian Claudiomiro Segatto.

Hunter-Spivey gave his team the perfect start by beating world No 11 Segatto 3-0 and after Savant-Aira levelled the tie by winning a close match against Urhaug 12-10 in the fifth, the 20 year old from Liverpool combined with the Norwegian to win the doubles. Urhaug, the Paralympic champion and world No 1 then clinched the gold with a 3-0 win over Segatto.

The Welsh combination of Davies and Matthews beat Slovakia 3-0 in the quarter-finals to set up a semi-final against the Korea 1 team of world champion Chang-ho Lee and world No 9 Jae-kwan Cho. With Davies winning both his singles and Cho defeating Matthews and then combining with Lee to win the doubles it came down to the deciding singles between Matthews and Lee. The 22 year old from Aberdare played a great match but the Korean’s experience just edged the final set 11-9 to win the match and the tie 3-2.

Londoners McKibbin and Facey Thompson beat The Netherlands in their quarter-final, with Facey Thompson coming back from 1-2 down to beat Jean-Paul Montanus 3-2 and win the tie for GB 3-1. In their semi-final against Japan with both GB players beating Koyo Iwabuchi and losing to Noboyuki Suzuki the doubles proved crucial and a 3-1 win for Japan ultimately decided the tie 3-2.

In the men’s class 6 team event Paul Karabardak and Martin Perry played well to beat Germany 3-0 in the last 16 and went through to meet Denmark in the quarter-finals. Once again the doubles proved to be key to the result of the tie, with both GB players beating Michael Jensen and losing to world No 2 Peter Rosenmeier, and it was the Danish duo who came out on top in a 3-1 win and they went on to take the tie 3-2.

Francesca Bullock
May 18, 2015