It's Ash 'n grab as Facey-Thompson nets medal double

Morpeth School table-tennis sensation Ashley Facey-Thompson celebrated a medal double in his debut appearance at the National Disability Championships

By JONATHAN CLEGG

Morpeth School table-tennis sensation Ashley Facey-Thompson celebrated a medal double in his debut appearance at the National Disability Championships.

Facey-Thompson, 14, who was a member of the Great Britain Paralympic table-tennis squad at last weekend's Romania Open, was crowned national champion in the Men's Band B event at the finals, while also scooping a silver medal in the Under-18s boys singles.

He said: "I am thrilled to win these two medals in my first national championships. My long-term aim is to represent Britain at the London 2012 Paralympics."


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Facey-Thompson reached the final of the Under-18s competition without dropping a set on the opening day of the competition, but he was forced to settle for a silver medal after dropping the final 3-1 to No1 seed Aaron McKinnan, from Surrey.

Yet the Morpeth ace bounced back in the senior men's competition the following day, cruising into the final with an exhibition of fast, attacking table-tennis.

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And Facey-Thompson clinched the gold medal in his maiden appearance at the national finals with a 3-0 final win.

The teenager was also in winning form at the Royal Albert Hall earlier this month when he and young partner Igor Morais overcame Olympic high-jumper Dalton Grant and rugby league legend Martin Offiah in a celebrity doubles event at the Dunlop International Masters.

Facey-Thompson also formed part of Morpeth's victorious Under-15s side at this month's National Cadet League London Championships alongside team-mates Rafi Conn-Kowlessar and Joshua James.

Morpeth second team of David Ha, Simon Ha and Lucas Simpson-Cole finished third in this top division, while the third-string of Yves Barbe-Wilson, Jack Templeman and Ryhan al-Shuhayb secured a top-three finish in Division Two.

Coach Grant Solder said: "I am incredibly proud of our achievements, with Ashley winning medals at a national level and Morpeth yet again showing their strength in depth at the National Cadet League.

"A lot of credit goes to our assistant coaches Simon Hoang, Rashid Benallal, Michael Duong and Joe Biscoe.

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