Will Bayley vows to make it to Tokyo 2020 Paralympics after Strictly Come Dancing injury

Isobel Frodsham
Mark Robinson/Getty Images

Will Bayley has confirmed he will fight for his title at the Tokyo Paralympics after suffering an injury while rehearsing for Strictly Come Dancing.

The Paralympian, 31, was forced to pull out of the competition following a knee injury incurred during rehearsals for the Halloween special.

He previously raised his concerns about missing the 2020 games, stating he would be “devastated” if he had to pull out.

But now, Bayley said that despite tearing his anterior cruciate ligament he plans to train for the Paralympics.

Janette Manrara and Will Bayley dancing on Strictly (BBC/Guy Levy)

Writing on Twitter, he said: “Update on injury guys. I have a full tear of my ACL not the best news, but this gives me a brilliant opportunity to work on other parts of my game that I could improve.

“I don’t see why I can’t be an even better play[er] because of this! I will be back to fight in Tokyo!”

Speaking about his early exit on It Takes Two, alongside dance partner Janette Manrara, Bayley said it was “gutting” to hear he would not be well enough to dance.

He said: “I didn’t want it to end like this. I wouldn’t mind properly ending it, even if we went out next week or something. But there are so many positive things as well which I wanna focus on. It was an amazing journey…some of the lifts were amazing and I didn’t think I could do half the stuff [he did].

“I owe Janette so much because coming into this show, I was so scared of dancing and embarrassing myself, but she believed in me.

He added: “To me it meant more than just a show, because I wanted to try and help people as well.”

Bayley won a silver medal at the London 2012 games and a gold medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

He is currently the top of his class in the British Para Table Tennis rankings.

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