Britain’s para table tennis stars end 2017 on a high with US Open double team silver
Kim Daybell is confident a bright future awaits the British para table tennis team as they ended 2017 on a high with double team silver at the US Open.
Daybell, who also won individual class ten silver in Las Vegas, teamed up with Josh Stacey – in the absence of regular doubles partner Ash Facey-Thompson – in the men’s class 9-10.
Playing together for the first time, Daybell and Stacey quickly found their stride to cruise through to the semi-finals, where they defeated the home nation 2-1 with Daybell securing the deciding singles with a 3-0 victory.
In the final against Indonesia, the British pair lost the doubles but 17-year-old Stacey edged the first singles tie against Komet Akbar.
Daybell’s singles match saw a repeat of the class 10 individual final, but world number two David Jacobs emerged triumphant once again despite an impressive effort from the Brit.
Daybell’s double silver across the pond capped off a memorable year for the 25-year-old in which he also won his first major medal at the European Championships, yet he insists the best is yet to come from the British contingent.
“I thought Josh played really well,” he said. “It was interesting playing with a new partner as I haven’t played with anyone else for a long time but we were a good combination.
“In the future with Ash we could be a really strong team and it is nice to have different options within the team.
“Overall I think he played really well considering it was his first factor 40 event and I was quite pleased with my performance as well so it was good for both of us.”
Daybell and Stacey’s medal wasn’t Great Britain’s only success of the team events, with Jack Hunter-Spivey following up his individual title with silver in class 3-5 alongside Swedish partner Bernt Norgren.
The duo topped their group before defeating a USA pair in the semi-final, with Germany their opponents in the final.
But after losing the doubles, Hunter-Spivey was unable to repeat his individual singles win against world champion Valentin Baus as Germany recorded a 3-0 success.
“We were seeded fourth in the group so to get a medal and into the final was a good result," said Hunter-Spivey.
"Playing with a new team partner was a challenge but he’s a good player and we had some good doubles matches and came through against some strong teams.
“In the final it didn’t go our way – Germany are a very strong team - but overall it’s been a very good tournament for me.”