Facey Thompson hoping for better form at Euros

Ash Facey Thompson on the medal podium at the Japan Open (pic GB Para Table Tennis)

Ash Facey Thompson on the medal podium at the Japan Open (pic GB Para Table Tennis) - Credit: Archant

Despite picking up three singles meedals in 2019, Newham’s Ashley Facey Thompson admits he has struggled to find his best form so far this season.

Having competed at the Rio Paralympics, the 24-year-old from Stratford admits the nerves of securing qualification for next summer's Games have perhaps had an impact on his performances.

The ITTF class nine world number 11 has picked up bronze medals at the Polish and Czech Opens, with a Japan Open silver in between, but insists there are still mental and physical improvements to be made.

The upcoming European Championships in Helsingborg provide the perfect platform to demonstrate what he is capable of, and he can't wait to get out and perform.

"My season was a bit of a struggle at the start," he said. "I probably got a bit stressed out because of Paralympic qualification, but some of my recent results have shown I'm getting back towards where I want to be.

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"I just need to touch up on a few things and I'll hopefully be there. I've been training hard and the Euros is a great chance to show what I've got.

"I'm really looking forward to getting out to Sweden. It's always been one of my favourite tournaments and it's particularly important this year.

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"There's a bit more pressure because the winner qualifies automatically for the Paralympics, but I just need to focus on my own game and I'm confident I can do well with how I'm currently playing."

While Facey-Thompson does his best to stay focused on the tournament in hand, he admits an appearance at a second Paralympic Games would be a dream come true.

And with Paralympic and World champions such as Will Bayley and Ross Wilson in the British camp, he believes he is in the perfect place to secure a second shot on the sport's biggest stage, adding: "Rio was absolutely amazing and if it's anything like that in Japan I'd love to experience that again.

"Tokyo is one of my favourite places. I love playing out there and it would mean a lot if I could get a spot on the plane. It's great to have the likes of Will and Ross in the camp and we all get on really well. Being surrounded by them every day is really inspiring and can only help me going forward.

"The Euros is first on my list so hopefully I can do well out there and keep progressing from there."

*Sainsbury's is the longest-standing supporter of ParalympicsGB and a champion of inclusive sport for all. Sainsbury's commitment to helping customers live well for less has been at the heart of what they do since 1869. For more information on Sainsbury's commitment to inclusive sport visit https://www.about.sainsburys.co.uk.

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