Kim Daybell started playing table tennis at the age of nine at home in the garage with his dad and was immediately attracted by the speed and excitement of the sport. He made his international debut at the 2008 German Open at the age of 16 and progressed to win gold medals in Germany, Italy, Slovakia and Romania before finishing fourth at the European Championships in 2011 and representing ParalympicsGB at London 2012.
Sheffield born Kim has been inspired by Paralympic sport and since 2010 has combined his table tennis training with studying for a degree in Medicine at Leeds University.
In 2013 Kim took a bronze medal in Slovenia and reached the quarter finals of the singles in the European Championships before finishing the season in style with gold in the class 10 singles at the Belgian Open. He began 2014 with a silver medal in the team event in Slovenia and showed improved form at the World Championships in China - reaching the quarter-finals of the singles and recording some great wins in both singles and team event, losing only to the number one and number two in the world. He then confirmed his progress by taking gold in the men’s class 10 singles at the Cote d’Azur International without dropping a set.
Kim admits that combining training with his medical studies can be hard and in 2015 he made the decision to take a year out of University to prepare for Rio. After bronze medals in Italy and Slovenia he reached the quarter-finals in the singles in the European Championships but was bitterly disappointed to lose in four close sets to Ivan Karabec from the Czech Republic.
In the team event he faced the former World and European champion again in the first singles match of the tie between GB and Czech Republic and he produced some great play to come back from 2-1 down to win the fourth set 11-4 and then held his nerve superbly to win the fifth 11-7 for a memorable victory over the World number six.
Although he and Ashley Facey Thompson were subsequently knocked out by France in the quarter finals Kim finished the competition in positive mood.
With more time now to train Kim is working on improvements in his game and has been spending time in Slovenia, training with the national squad and competing in their non-disabled league.
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