Tokyo Paralympics six Brits to watch: Will Bayley out to prove he’s Strictly the best

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 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

We’ve picked out six British athletes from six different sports who look set to shine for ParalympicsGB at next weeks’s Tokyo Paralympics. The next on our list is table tennisWill Bayley.

Bayley first learnt to play as a seven-year-old, practising on a table bought for him by his grandmother while he was recovering from cancer.

The 33-year-old made his Paralympic bow in Beijing but took his career to new heights at his home Games in London four years later as he won silver.

Things got even better in Rio, where he upset the hosts nation’s Israel Pereira Stroh to win gold and celebrated by leaping on to the table — an act that earned him a caution from the officials but also one of the most iconic British images of the Games.

Had the Paralympics gone ahead last year, it is unlikely Bayley would have been at them, after he tore his ACL while rehearsing for Strictly Come Dancing in the autumn of 2019.

He has described himself as a “rubbish dancer” — although he did reach week six before injury ended his Strictly journey early — but is out to prove his table tennis greatness once more.

Paralympic record

  • Gold: 1

  • Silver: 1

Tokyo 2020 events schedule

  • MS7 table tennis (starts August 25)

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