Former 'Strictly' star Will Bayley worries injury might rule him out of Tokyo Paralympics

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Contributor
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Former 'Strictly Come Dancing' contestant Will Bayley fears his recent injury may prevent him from competing in the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020 (Mike Marsland/WireImage/Getty)
Former 'Strictly Come Dancing' contestant Will Bayley fears his recent injury may prevent him from competing in the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020 (Mike Marsland/WireImage/Getty)

Former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Will Bayley fears his recent injury may prevent him from competing in the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020.

The professional table tennis player was forced to pull out of the BBC reality series after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee during rehearsals.

Read more: Strictly viewers are to blame for Catherine Tyldesley's elimination, says Shirley Ballas

"I'm at the top of my career. I've played four major tournaments this season and I've won three gold medals. I'm the best player in the world at the moment,” he recently told The Sun, as he worried about the impact the damage might have going forward. "So this is just massively scary to have this injury at this moment. It's only just starting to sink in."

The 31-year-old - who was born with arthrogryposis, a condition that causes muscle shortening and affects mobility - went on to say that he was “so gutted” about having to quit Strictly and that the last four days have been very “traumatic” for him.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17:  Will Bayley of Great Britain poses with his medas during a Rio 2016 Victory Parade for the British Olympic and Paralympic teams on October 17, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images)
Bayley won his first gold medal back in 2016, when he beat Brazilian Israel Pereira Stroh at the Rio Summer Paralympics. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images)

Recalling the incident, he said: “I felt my knee pop and I was in agony. I'm not going to lie, the second I landed and felt it I thought 'Tokyo' but thought I'd get some physio, rest it for a day, and be back dancing next week.

“I can take pain, I've been in pain all my life, but I screamed in agony and the next day I couldn't do anything, so alarm bells started ringing.

Read more: 'Strictly' fans' criticism of Mike Bushell is too nasty for Craig Revel Horwood

“It has hurt ever since. I went for a scan, and now the decision has been taken out of my hands. If I have to miss Tokyo it would be devastating.”

Bayley won his first gold medal back in 2016, when he beat Brazilian Israel Pereira Stroh at the Rio Summer Paralympics.

Bayley’s Strictly partner Janette Manrara took to Twitter to praise him for taking part in the competition and wish him a fast recovery.

“[Will] will always be my champion! He came on this show to share a very special message & every single week through his hard work & determination he did exactly that. In my eyes, that is truly winning!”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting