Born and bred in Wales, Rob played semi-professional rugby until a spinal cord injury while playing at the age of 21. While undergoing rehab at Rookwood Hospital in Cardiff he was encouraged to take up table tennis by Para table tennis international Sara Head, who was doing voluntary work at the hospital.
In 2007 he made his international debut and became part of the GB Development squad. After taking silver medals in the individual and team events at the European championships in 2011 he realised his ambition of competing in the London 2012 Paralympic Games. He admits that London was a massive learning curve and although he enjoyed the experience he was disappointed to come away without a medal.
Rob’s aim for 2013 was to improve his consistency and his world ranking of six and he achieved even more than he had hoped for - becoming European champion, taking gold in the team event as well with fellow Welshman Paul Davies, and replacing Paralympic champion Holger Nikelis as world number one in October.
The 29 year old was ranked five before the European Championships but defeated Nikelis in the semi-finals on his way to winning gold in the singles, having earlier beaten Jean-Francois Ducay, the world ranked number three Frenchman who had ended his Paralympic dream in the group stages in London 2012.
Rob then reinforced his new status with victory in the Belgium Open, where he defeated Ducay again in the final to prove that his performance at the European Championships was not a fluke.
Rob began 2014 by taking gold in singles and team in Slovenia and came back from losing to Ducay in the singles in Slovakia to take gold in the team event with Paul Davies. In the World Championships in China he showed all his fighting spirit to reach the final of the men’s class 1 singles but had to settle for silver after a 3-1 loss to the Korean Changho Lee.
Rob did just that in 2015, coming back from a few disappointing results earlier in the season to successfully defend his European singles title in Denmark beating old rival and the current World number one Jean-Francois Ducay in the final.
With Paul Davies absent due to injury Rob had a new team partner in another Welshman Tom Matthews and the pair took gold in the round-robin team event to crown a successful competition for Rob.
In December 2015 Rob regained the World number one ranking in men’s class 1 and is now focused on preparing for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.
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