A Commonwealth champion and a world champion will share the limelight of Finals Day after winning their groups in the para competitions at the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships.

Photos by Alan Man – see more on our Flickr page

Click here to see all results from the Championships

In the class 2-5 singles event, Jack Hunter-Spivey, the gold medallist from Birmingham 2022, swept his group very comfortably, beating Lee York and Chris Ryan.

He will face Simon Heaps, the 67-year-old who has transitioned to the para sport after losing both his legs to diabetes.  

Simon Heaps

Heaps was the second seed in his group, but that didn’t stop him getting the better of Andrew Green and Shackleton. The game with Shackleton saw him win three close games, 13-11, 13-11, 11-7. 

In the class 6-10, it was the second seed in each group who came out on top. Ash Facey and Billy Shilton did not put a foot wrong in their group games, winning them in straight games. 

Facey, who has recently returned to the sport after a stint as a para cyclist beat Wilson and Joe Crouse, while world doubles champion Shilton beat McKibbin and Max Flint.  

This year, the Championships saw para doubles matches for the first time, with showcase matches in both the 2-5 and 6-10 class brackets. 

In class 2-5 Jack Hunter-Spivey & Megan Shackleton beat Lee York & Simon Heaps in an extraordinary match. It was a great example of wheelchair doubles, with the usual rule of alternate players hitting the ball not applying here. 

Hunter-Spivey & Paralympic bronze medallist Shackleton looked like they were going to win it easily at two games up, only for York & Heaps to mount an amazing comeback. The fifth game saw York & Heaps squander six match points, with Hunter-Spivey & Shackleton winning it on their first. The final score: 11-8, 11-7, 5-11, 8-11, 15-13. 

The class 6-10 doubles match was won by Wilson & Shilton, who overcame Facey & McKibbin in four games. The final score: 6-11, 11-9, 11-7, 13-11.