Ross first played table tennis while on holiday and clearly showed an immediate talent for the game as a watching member of staff, noting the Arsenal shirt he was wearing, christened him the Thierry Henry of table tennis.
Ross’s natural skill brought him success in non-disabled table tennis and as a junior he was ranked in the top ten in the country, winning two National doubles titles. However, as he got older it became clear that some physical problem was affecting his development although exhaustive medical tests failed to discover the cause. Finally, in 2011 he was diagnosed with multiple epiphyseal dysplasia, which affects the growing ends of the bones, after his cousin was diagnosed with the same condition by a geneticist.
Ross’s progress was rapid and his first international season culminated in a silver medal in the European Championships in 2011. At the age of 17 he was the youngest member of the GB table tennis team in London 2012 but belied his inexperience by finishing fourth in the singles, having led the Chinese world number one 2-0 in his semi-final, and then playing superbly to clinch the team bronze with Will Bayley and Aaron McKibbin.
Following the London Games Ross, who was ranked two in the world at the end of 2012, was side-lined with a shoulder injury but took the setback with a typically positive approach, showing a maturity beyond his years.
In 2014 Ross was finally able to return to competition and came back with a bang by taking gold in the men’s class 8 singles at the Cote d’Azur International in October.
Ross began 2015 with silver medals in Hungary and Italy but was then side-lined with injuries to his knee and elbow. Strained muscles in his back then hampered his preparations for the European Championships but despite this he performed well at his first major championship since London 2012, beating top ten players to reach the quarter-finals of the singles and taking bronze in the team event with Aaron McKibbin.
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