Bayley back to No. 1 in para-table tennis rankings

The London 2012 class 7 silver medallist over takes Ukraine’s Maksym Nikolenko in the latest ITTF world rankings. 09 Jun 2015
Will Bayley

Will Bayley returns the ball during his table tennis match with Brazil's Paul Salmin during Great Britain's National Paralympic Day at London's Olympic Park on 7 September 2013. More than 5,000 spectators were there to cheer Bayley on at the match.

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By Great Britain Para-Table Tennis

“It has been two years since I have been World No. 1.”

Great Britain’s Will Bayley is back on top.

The latest International Table Tennis Federation’s (ITTF) para-table tennis world rankings were released, and the defending World Champion has regained his No. 1 spot in the men’s class 7. Bayley (1,670 rating) over took Ukraine’s Maksym Nikolenko (1,662), whom he beat to win the world title in China last year; Ukraine’s Mykhaylo Popov (1,624) sits at No. 3.

Bayley, 27, trains full-time with the Great British team at the English Institute of Sport (EIS) in Sheffield, Great Britain. He is now preparing for October’s European Championships in Denmark, where he hopes to take back the title he won in 2011.

He also has his sights set on Rio 2016, where he hopes to do better than his silver medal finish in London 2012.

“It has been two years since I have been World No. 1,” Bayley said. “So it is nice to be there again, although my main focus is winning medals at major championships. But being World No. 1 definitely gives me more belief and will push me on even more for [the Rio Paralympics] next year.”

However, compatriot Robert Davies lost his No. 1 ranking to France’s Jean-Francois Ducay (1,033). Davies’ 1,009 dropped to No. 3 in the men’s class 1, and Germany’s Holger Nikelis remained at No. 2.

The men’s class 11 and class 4 also saw big shifts. Belgium’s Florian Van Acker (1,634) surpassed Spain’s Eduardo Cuesta Martinez (1,626) for No. 1. Former class 11 leader Pascal Pereira-Leal of France fell to No. 4, and former world No. 2 Peter Palos of Hungary moved one spot down.

In class 4, Turkey’s Abdullah Ozturk became the new No. 1, dethroning Korea’s Young-gun Kim.

One of the biggest moves on the women’s side came in class 4. China’s Miao Zhang (1,449) moved into No. 1, bumping Serbia’s Borislava Peric-Rankovic (1,435) to No. 2.