Lee York of Wakefield wins first international para table tennis medals in Costa Rica

Lee York of Wakefield brought home his first international bronze medals from the ITTF Para Copa Costa Rica table tennis tournament. Image courtesy of ITTF

Along with fellow Pathway athlete Dan Bullen, Lee, 32, won a bronze medal in the men’s class 1-5 team and he also won a bronze medal in class 4 in singles.

Bullen and York started off with a 2-0 victory over second-team Costa Rica, winning the doubles 3-0 and York winning the first single against Sebastian Chaves Quiroz 3-0.

Against the seeds Chile they lost a tight double 3-2 and Bullen was narrowly edged in another five-set game by Maximiliano Rodriguez Avila 11-9 in the fifth.

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The British pair secured second place in the group with a 2-0 victory over Canada, winning the doubles 3-0 and York winning the first single against Mohsin Ali Wotto 3-0.

In the semifinals, they faced the US-Canadian partnership of Ahad Bakhshaei Sarand and Muhammad Mudassar and had to settle for bronze after losing a tight doubles match 3-2 and Bullen was beaten 3-0 by Sarand.

“I really feel Dan and I work well together and I feel we understand each other’s play very well,” said York.

“I think we were a bit unlucky in the doubles (in the semi-finals) and the result could have gone both ways.

“I know what I need to work on and can’t wait to get home and get started.

“I really want to thank the rest of the team for their support. Everyone here has worked so well together and been there for each other.

Lee’s UK partner Bullen said: “I love playing as a team with Lee and we played some brilliant doubles.

“He supports me so much around the corner when I play and he motivates me for the doubles which is good.

“This is only the third time that we’ve played as a team together and after losing a medal in the tally in Spain last month, it’s great to get a bronze medal here.

“It was a good experience and I really think we can be a force to be reckoned with in doubles if we keep going.

“It was a difficult single for me after beating him (Sarand) 3-2 yesterday.

“I played well but unfortunately he came out on top and there are just a few things I need to tweak to get him next time.”

In his singles competition in Costa Rica, Lee started with a close game against Chilean Maximiliano Rodriguez Avila and led 2-0 past the 31-year-old Pan American bronze medalist, who won gold in men’s singles 4-5. at the Czech Open. earlier this year fought back to win 11-9 in the fifth.

The Wakefield man secured his place in the semifinals, however, with a 3-0 victory over 14-year-old Sebastian Chaves Quiroz of Costa Rica and was not dishonored in a 3-0 header loss from Cristian Gonzalez Astete series. , of Chile, the Pan American champion of class 4.

“It was so nice to get my first international win,” said York.

“I feel like a huge weight has been lifted and what I worked on in training is finally paying off.

“The games I lost were a lot closer and I took a lot of things away from them that I can tackle and work on in the training hall when I get home.”

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