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Paralympics: Shilton set for Tokyo

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Billy Shilton has been included in a squad of 13 athletes to represent ParalympicsGB in the table tennis events in Tokyo next month.

The 22-year-old former Maidenhill student from Stonehouse is currently training in a bubble with the national team in Sheffield and received a wild card after narrowly failing to secure qualification at the World Qualification Tournament in Slovenia in June and will be competing in his first Paralympic Games.

“When I found out that I had been given a wild card I was so excited,” he said. “I’ve had a couple of weeks now for it to sink in. Seeing the kit and everything it is really nice to be involved in all the preparation so I can’t wait. Going to Rio as part of the Paralympic Inspiration Programme was brilliant – I think the Paralympics is something that you can only experience if you see it, so it was great to experience the environment and the atmosphere. Obviously, it will be a bit different this time but just to see everything and the scale of everything it will really help me in Tokyo for sure.

SHILTON Billy 1 | Paralympics: Shilton set for Tokyo
Billy Shilton is off to Tokyo

“I just want to take every match as it comes – play the best I can and hopefully the results will come. Ross (Wilson) and Aaron (McKibbin) have nurtured me from quite a young age when I first came to Sheffield so it is really nice to be playing team event with them and I’ve learned a lot from them. Everyone on the team gets on so well and that can only be a positive going into the Games, so I’m really excited.”

Training is intense as Shilton revealed: “Training usually consists of two sessions a day, two hours in the morning, two in the afternoon and a one-hour gym session in-between.”

Shilton will compete in the men’s class 8 singles and the men’s class 8 team events.

The rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be staged from August 24th to September 5th.

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