Advertisement

Table tennis stars eye Paris after gold in Solvenia

Brighton Table Tennis Club is celebrating winning the Premier Division league title while welcoming home two of its best para players from success at an international tournament.

World number one and former world and Paralympic champion Will Bayley took gold in the class seven singles at the Slovenia Para Open, while Bly Twomey, 14, topped the podium in the same class.

Both have already met the qualifying criteria for the Paralympic Games in Paris this summer.

Twomey, who is coached by Bayley at the club and is the youngest GB para player to qualify, said: "My dream since I was four-years old has just been to get to the Paralympics."

Bayley, from Tunbridge Wells, who was a Paralympic champion in Rio in 2016, is training for his fifth Games.

He comfortably won in straight sets at the tournament in Slovenia and said he was motivated to train for the biggest win of his career.

'About community'

He said: "They’ve made me feel loved here [at the club] and that is priceless.

"There’s going to be a hundred people from Brighton Table Tennis Club probably going to watch me."

About 500 spectators watched the club in the Brighton Dome win the Premier Division title for the first time in it's 17 year history.

It was also the first time table tennis was showcased as part of the Brighton Festival.

The club’s founder director Tim Holtam said: “This is about community.

"I think it’s proof that elite top level sport and grassroots community sport can be done under one umbrella , one club and that they’re mutually beneficial."

The GB Paralympic table tennis squad for Paris will be announced in July.

Follow BBC Sussex on Facebook, on X, and on Instagram. Send your story ideas to southeasttoday@bbc.co.uk or WhatsApp us on 08081 002250.

More on this story