Todmorden star Shackleton clinches titles at British Para Table Tennis National Championships
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Shackleton, who defeated Beth Kyte and Bethany Kelf on the way to the women’s wheelchair crown, also teamed-up with Commonwealth champion Jack Hunter-Spivey to claim the wheelchair doubles title, seeing off Andrew Green and Romain Simon in the final.
Hunter-Spivey said: “Playing doubles with Meg is really good for me - we’re really good friends off the table and really understand each other’s games.
"I’ve been in the squad as Megan has come through and now we compete together internationally.
"I’ve really got high hopes for our doubles partnership and hopefully we can do well at the Europeans later this year.”
The results are a huge boost for Shackleton ahead of next month’s Montenegro Para Championships and the Slovenia Para Open. She said: “It’s nice to be back at the nationals playing and a good opportunity for the girls to have an event to themselves. Going into match play sessions over the next few weeks it’s going to be a big part in how I perform in Montenegro and Slovenia, so it’s been great preparation for those tournaments.”
This was the first time the National Championships had been held in four years and it produced great matches and intense competition.
While experience came to the fore there were some promising performances from some of the young and up-and-coming players in the Pathway and Development squads who are coming through to challenge the established players in the Performance squad.
The championships were dominated by Hunter-Spivey and Joshua Stacey, who claimed the open wheelchair and open standing titles respectively, as well as their individual classes.
Stacey had to settle for silver in the standing doubles after he and Martin Perry lost the final to Aaron McKibbin and Billy Shilton.
Newcomer Lianna Shillani was a surprise winner of the women’s standing title after beating world doubles champions Fliss Pickard and Grace Williams.