BILLY Shilton from Stroud continued his qualification campaign for the upcoming table tennis competition at the Paralympic Games in Paris with a bronze medal in Italy at the weekend.

Shilton and doubled partner Paul Karabardak came through their group with a 3-0 win against Zbynek Lambert and Daniel Horut from Czechia and a 3-1 win against Sam Gustafsson and Jonas Hansson from Sweden at the ITTF Lignano Masters Para Open in Italy.

They recovered from dropping the first set to beat Huang Jiaxin and Peng Weinan from China 3-1 in the quarterfinal and started well in their semi-final taking the first set against Ben Despineux and Sayed Youssef but the Belgian/Egyptian partnership combined to good effect and they went on to take the match 3-1.

They took the bronze medal, which will add valuable points to their qualification score.

"I think Paul and I had a really good tournament," said Shilton, "I’m really pleased to have taken a medal. I’m really proud of the performance we put in against China – I believe that was the best doubles match we have ever played as they are a great side.

"I think our best level together is one of the best in the world and we proved it in patches today. We just need to be more consistent in every match, but I’m really pleased with the direction it’s going in."

Shilton was also involved in the singles event earlier in the week. 

In group 5, he was a 3-0 winner against 20-year-old Vit Spalek from Czechia and then showed all his character and determination to come back from 2-0 down against 17-year-old Borna Zohil, the World number 16 from Croatia, to take a tight third set 13-11 and the fourth 11-8 before edging the deciding set 12-10.

In his last 16 match against Richard Csejtey he fought back from 8-3 down in the fourth to take it 11-9 and level the match at 2-2 but the former World champion and World number one from Slovakia remains a tough opponent and just had the edge in the deciding set to win it 11-8 and the match 3-2.