Stonehouse’s Billy Shilton took bronze at the Costa Brava Spanish Para Table Tennis Open in Platja d’Aro.
Shilton lost a close opening set to the 19-year-old Spaniard Alejandro Diaz but fought back well to edge a close second set 11-9 and went on to take the match 3-1. He then put up a great performance to beat the Rio Paralympic silver medallist Andras Csonka from Hungary 3-0, clinching the match 12-10 in the third.
In his final group match, he faced Borna Zohil and after some great play the 15-year-old from Croatia led 2-0 but Shilton fought his way back into the match to level at 2-2 and took the deciding set 11-8 to book his place in the quarterfinals where he took on Andrianus Van Amerongen.
He lost the first set to the Dutchman 11-9 but came back to win the next three 11-5, 11-7, 11-8 to progress to the semi-finals where he faced Grudzien. Shilton had won their previous meeting last year in Tokyo in five sets, but it was the Polish player who proved stronger today, taking the match 3-1.
“The semi-final was a difficult match and I think I played a bit silly at times,” said Shilton. “I had a lot of opportunities to get into the rally, but I rushed it and pushed too hard. I was really pleased with my win against Csonka – I had a couple of tough battles in the group and I was pleased with how I coped in those pressure situations. So there’s a lot to learn from and I’m looking forward to getting back into the hall in Sheffield and working on all those things.”