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Tokyo 2021 Paralympics: Shilton reaches final 16

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On his Paralympic debut, Stonehouse’s Billy Shilton won his second group table tennis match to progress to the knockout stages.

He knew little about his opponent Victor Farinloye from Nigeria, who had taken the World number one Viktor Didukh to five sets yesterday. After edging a tense first game 14-12 Shilton played superbly to take the next two sets 11-5 and 11-6 and the match 3-0.

“That first set was really important,” he acknowledged. “I got off to a good start then he clawed his way back in. I was leading 10-8 then it was 10-10 so I was happy to win the first set deuce and I think that really helped my confidence going forwards.

“I didn’t really have any targets before I came out here to be honest – just to take every match at a time and just see what I can do. Try and play the way I know I can play on such a big stage and that happened today so I’m really happy.  It’s amazing to see the scale of everything and to see, for example, Will doing so well and how he copes with the pressure. It is inspiring and motivates me to be in that position in a few years.”

Results in the final group matches in men’s class 8 meant that both McKibbin and Wilson, who completed their matches this morning, finished runner-up in their respective groups.

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