Widnes table tennis champion takes on the world in China

Widnes table tennis champion takes on the world in China

Jack Hunter-Spivey in action

Jack Hunter-Spivey in action

Jack Hunter-Spivey with Tommy Urhaug at the 2014 Slovenia Open

Jack Hunter-Spivey with his silver medal at the 2014 Slovakia Open

First published in News Runcorn and Widnes World: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A TABLE tennis champion is on track to fulfil his dream of competing at the Paralympics in Rio.

Jack Hunter-Spivey, aged 19, from Widnes is flying to China for the 2014 ITT Para Table Tennis World Championships in Bejing from September 6-14.

It will be his first world championship after making his debut for GB in the Europeans in Italy last year.

Jack, from Stewards Avenue, said: “It will be amazing going to China. I’m very lucky to be in this position."

He has risen up the ranks from 17 to nine after winning a silver medal at the Slovakia Open.

He added: “I think I’ve improved a lot this year, not just technically but my mental game has improved.

"The Europeans last year was a real learning curve."

Wheelchair player Jack, who has cerebral palsy, was blind and deaf until he was nine-months-old.

He discovered his passion for table tennis when he was 10 and developed his talent at Halton Table Tennis Club.

The former SS Peter and Paul Catholic College student recently moved to Sheffield to train full time with the GB squad.

Playing with Paralympic champion and world number one Tommy Urhaug, from Norway, has dramatically improved his skills.

Jack said: “He’s got a wealth of experience and you couldn’t ask for a better team partner.

"In high pressure situations he’s so cool and calm which makes me feel better. He's got so much advice to give.

Jack said he has great support from his mum, Renee, step-father Rob, brother Chris and sister Romana-Dawn.

Liverpool FC fan Jack added: "My family are really proud of me.

“I’ll be seeded to reach the knockout stages and that is my goal but if I get a decent draw I could take a medal.

"I’m going for the experience and to see how things work - the bigger picture is Rio in 2016 and to be at a major competition before then is great.”

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