Will Bayley

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Will Bayley
Will Bayley at Gwangju 2010 World Championships
Personal information
Full name William John Bayley
Nationality  United Kingdom
Born (1988-01-17) January 17, 1988 (age 30)
Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England

William John Bayley MBE (born 17 January 1988) is a British professional Paralympic table tennis player, ranked world number 1. He is the 2016 Summer Paralympics Games gold medallist and the 2014 World Champion.

Personal life[edit]

Bayley was born on 17 January 1988 in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England.[1] He was born with arthrogryposis which affects all four of his limbs.[2]

At the age of seven he was diagnosed with cancer. During his recovery he began playing table tennis after his grandmother bought him his first table.[1][3][4]

Table Tennis career[edit]

At the age of 12 he joined the Byng Hall Table Tennis Club in Tunbridge Wells and went on to represent Kent's able bodied men's team.[4] From the age of 17 he has lived and trained full time at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.[5]

He represented Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, China, where he was knocked out of the table tennis C7 singles in the preliminary round after defeats against Germany's Jochen Wollmert and Ukraine's Mykhaylo Popov and a single victory against Shumel Shur of Israel.[6] He also competed in the C6-8 team event along with Paul Karabardak and David Wetherill; they were eliminated at the quarterfinal stage.[4] In 2009 he won gold medals at the Czech and German opens, in 2010 he took golds in Lignano and Brazil.[2]

Bayley won a gold medal in the singles at the 2011 European Championships in Split, Croatia. He also won a silver medal in the men's Team event class 7, playing alongside Karabardak. At the end of 2011 he was voted the European Players' Player of the Year and in January 2012 he achieved the world number one ranking.[4]

Will Bayley won a silver medal in the London 2012 Summer Paralympics after losing to Germany's Jochen Wollmert in the class 7 final.[7]

At the Rio 2016 Summer Paralympics, Bayley won his first Paralympic gold medal after beating home-favorite Brazilian Israel Pereira Stroh. He received a yellow card for jumping up onto the table in celebration.[8]

Bayley was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to table tennis.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Will Bayley - Paralympics GB". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Chowdhury, Saj (21 August 2012). "Paralympics 2012: Bayley targets number one spot". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Will Bayley Q&A". Channel 4. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Will Bayley". British Paralympic Association. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Paralympian Will Bayley hoping to make Tunbridge Wells proud at London 2012". Kent and Sussex Courier. 11 July 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games Table Tennis Men's Singles 7". International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "London 2012 Paralympics: Will Bayley wins table tennis silver". BBC Sport. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "London 2012 Paralympics: Will Bayley wins table tennis silver". rio2016.com. 12 September 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2016. 
  9. ^ "No. 61803". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2016. p. N15.