In the battle of Britain, Stonehouse table tennis star Billy Shilton settled for silver in the Greek Para Open.
Earlier, Shilton topped his group after a 3-0 win against Abdul Abdullah from Indonesia and a 3-1 win against Lam Ka Wai. He beat the Rio 2016 Paralympic silver medallist from Hungary Andras Csonka 3-0 in the quarter-finals and a 3-1 win against Thomas Bouvais, the Paralympic and World team bronze medallist from France, in the semi-finals took him through to face Aaron McKibbin.
The pair last met in the Slovenia Open in May when McKibbin won in five sets and the 31-year-old Londoner just had the edge again, winning 3-1.
“I’m obviously very happy to win the gold,” said McKibbin.
“It wasn’t nice to play against Billy but I think it is a good thing that we both made the final. It was strong competition for us – I think there are six or seven other players here who will be competing in the World Championships so it puts us both in good stead for that. I’ve played well here and with each match I’ve got better and better. Billy was definitely my toughest opponent and I think we put on a good show. I felt good coming in here on the back of a really good training camp in Slovenia and we’ve got four or five weeks now to put in some extra work before the Worlds and hopefully try and repeat the performance there.”
“Overall I’m really happy with a silver medal,” said Shilton. “I didn’t start very well and wasn’t playing the way I can in training which I was disappointed with but today against Csonka and Bouvais I was really satisfied with my level and it gives me confidence going into the World Championships that I know I can compete with the players around my ranking. It was so difficult to play against Aaron in the final because we play each other all the time but he played a great match and I’m happy for GB that we could take a gold and a silver.”