“I fell in love with the game again”: Paul Karabardak of Swansea wins two medals



Swansea’s Paul Karabardak won a silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Competing alongside Will Bayley in the class 6-7 team event, the pair lost 2-0 in the final to China.

But the pair fought bravely, holding the strong Chinese team in close matches.

Reflecting on the game, Karabardak said, “It was a tough game against the Chinese and it was always going to be a struggle, they are such a dominant force in table tennis.

“We just wanted to go there and do our best. Our first goal was to beat Spain in the semi-finals and we did it and it was fantastic.”

This is the second medal of the Games for Karabardak who also won a bronze medal in men’s singles in class 6.

The medals Karabardak will bring back to Swansea are his first of four Games he has competed in.

For him, confinement rekindled his love of the game.

“It’s just a joy to play table tennis again. I think I missed that and come back and then start playing properly again was just amazing.

“I didn’t know I missed it so much and I think that’s one of the reasons for the performance I had, I just fell in love with the game again.”

Karabardak and Bayley faced a strong Chinese duo in the final of the 6-7 class team event. Credit: AP Images

It’s not just table tennis that Karabardak loves, the Swans fan can’t wait to return home to watch his football team play for a very special time.

“I have been asked to go to the pitch in the next Swansea home game and I am a huge Swansea fan so it will mean everything to me to come out with my medals and the cheers of Jack Army.”

Elsewhere, Beth Munro became Britain’s first para-taekwondo medalist, winning silver in the -58 kg final.

The 28-year-old lost to Denmark’s Lisa Gjessing.

Meanwhile, Rio 2016 champion Hollie Arnold was unable to retain her title in the Javelin – F46.

Arnold won bronze in close competition, losing to New Zealander Holly Robinson and Dutch Noelle Roorda.

And Cwmbran archer Dave Phillips has retired from recurve men, losing in the last eight.

He will participate in the team event on Saturday.



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