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Shilton scoops silver in Poland

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Stonehouse table tennis star Billy Shilton bagged silver at the ITTF Polish Para Open in Wladyslawowo.

Shilton began with a 3-0 win against 21-year-old Alejandro Diaz from Spain and followed that with a 3-0 win against Pablo Jacobsen from Norway, bronze medallist in Finland, Montenegro and France last year.

A 3-0 win against 19-year-old Kamil Kowalski from Poland secured his place in the quarterfinals as group winner and a 3-0 win against the 19-year-old Italian Leonardo Coletta took him through to the semi-finals where he beat Lam Ka Wai from Hong Kong China, silver medallist in the Finland Para Open last year, 3-0.

In the final he lost the first set to World number three Piotr Grudzien but took the second to level at 1-1. The 2016 Paralympic bronze medallist from Poland edged the third 13-11 and then took another close set 12-10 to secure the gold 3-1.

“I’m obviously disappointed to have lost in the final but it was a good match,” said Shilton. “There were a few things that I took from Slovenia, and I’ve been working hard in the training hall and in patches it really showed in this tournament so I’m proud of the way I’ve turned that around. I started a bit slowly in the final and he played tactically very well but the second set was really good – I came out after a chat with Dave (coach David McBeath) and our tactics worked well and I took that one quite comfortably.  

“The third and fourth sets could have gone either way, but he played really well in the tight points. Overall, I’m happy with silver but still lots to learn and lots to work on in the training hall.”

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