Great Britain Para Table Tennis player Will Bayley says he is setting his sights on being one of the best of all-time ahead of the World Championships later this month.
Bayley is one of 14 players selected to represent GB in Slovenia from 17th to 20th October.
The 30-year-old has had an incredible career so far winning the class 7 silver at the London Paralympics in 2012, gold at the Rio Paralympics in 2016 and the World Championships in Beijing in 2014.
They said it was the impossible dream!! Never give up!! Create your own destiny! 👊 pic.twitter.com/fVJCZ9JIaQ
— Will Bayley MBE (@WillBayleytt) September 12, 2016
“Those three are really special moments for me,” he said.
“I want to be remembered as one of the best of all time in my category. I’m nearly there so I want to keep going and cementing my legacy really and make sure I can be called the best of all time.”
Bayley became a Dad last year and revealed how being a father has inspired him to continue to succeed
“Bella’s birthday was on Saturday, so it’s gone quickly. I love it, it’s actually helped me and motivated me to go out and win as many medals as I can,” he said.
The GB Number One was born with arthrogryposis, a rare congenital disorder that affects all four of his limbs.
He has been playing against able-bodied athletes for most of this season and he has been pleased with his performances ahead of the World Championships.
“I’ve played pretty consistently but I haven’t played too many international matches. I’ve been playing a lot in England to get my level up in able-bodied tournaments and just wanting to peak at the end of the season at the World Championships.
“That’s what I’ve been working for and what I’ve been thinking about since Rio.” he explained.
“I’m playing in a good division in 1A which is one of the top British leagues, so I’m playing really well. I’ve beaten some good players, around 20 in England.
“With my disability affecting all four limbs, to be competing at that level, I’m proud of myself because I’m playing against able-bodied players who are playing full-time and I’m competing and sometimes beating them, so I just need to continue to keep that level up.
“It will set me in good stead for the Para events because I’ll be even sharper.”
The world number two trains at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield and revealed what a typical training week consists of in the build up to the World Championships.
“At the moment I am just doing three hours of training in the morning and three hours of training in the afternoon, so 9 until 12 then we have a break as it’s quite intense and then we train from 3 until 6 and that’s every day,” he said.
“We also use the gym three times a week, we do weights and sports specific fitness.”
Bayley explained how he will have a break after the World Championships before beginning the process of aiming to qualify for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.
“I’m really looking forward to Tokyo. I hope it will be a good tournament for me and to shine because it’s a massive Table Tennis country, Japan, so I want to show what Para sport is all about and to try and impress them as well.”
Pictures courtesy of GB Para Table Tennis, with thanks.