Gold for Burnley’s Pickard at PTT Czech Open in Ostrava

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Burnley’s Fliss Pickard claimed one of seven singles medals for the British Para Table Tennis Team at the PTT Czech Open in Ostrava.

Pickard won gold in women’s class 6, to go with gold medals for Billy Shilton in men’s class 8.

Welsh teenager Josh Stacey took silver in men’s class 9, and there were bronze medals for Megan Shackleton (women’s class 4), Rob Davies (men’s class 1), Martin Perry (men’s class 6) and Ashley Facey Thompson (men’s class 9).

Pickard began the round-robin women’s class 6 event with a 3-0 win against the German Celine Pistora, before coming through in five sets against Svetlana Nesterenko after the Russian had fought back from 2-0 down to level at 2-2.

That match proved decisive as Pickard went on to beat another Russian Fatma Fattakhova 3-1, but lost her final match against the Polish former World champion Katarzyna Marszal 3-1.

With Marszal having lost two matches and Pickard and Nesterenko only one, the gold was decided by the result of their match.

“It’s obviously great to win gold,” said Pickard.

“Marszal played really well so credit to her.

“My level was okay but I definitely feel that if I can be positive then I can beat anyone in the world and I am excited for the Europeans now.”

Ashley Facey Thompson and Josh Stacey also head to the European Championships later this month on a high after winning gold in the men’s class 9 team event.

There were silver medals for Martin Perry and his French team partner Esteban Herrault in men’s class 6, and Pathway athlete Lucie Bouron with Ana Prvulovic from Serbia in women’s class 1-3, while Megan Shackleton took bronze in women’s class 4 with Irem Oluk from Turkey.