Tokyo Paralympics: Will Bayley feels 'guilty' over Games delay

Will Bayley
Will Bayley was injured during his time on Strictly Come Dancing

Paralympic table tennis champion Will Bayley says he feels "guilty" because the delay of a year to the Tokyo Games helps his sporting ambitions.

Britain's Bayley seriously injured his knee in October while performing on Strictly Come Dancing.

He told Stumps, Wheels and Wobblies, the BBC's Para-sport podcast, his hopes of competing are still alive, with the Games moving because of coronavirus.

"It has given me another chance," said 32-year-old Bayley.

"But I feel guilty celebrating it because it is a horrific situation.

"I just have to make the most of it and it would be a privilege to go to Tokyo in 2021."

Bayley - who was born with a condition called arthrogryposis, which affects all four of his limbs - won gold at the Rio Paralympics in 2016.

He and Strictly dance partner Janette Manrara had been winning over the audience and judges on the BBC show before Bayley landed awkwardly from a jump during a dress rehearsal, ending his time on the show.

The Briton's rehabilitation was scheduled to take anything up to nine months and he told BBC Sport in March that winning a medal in Tokyo would be his "greatest achievement in sport".

He is training at home in Brighton because the British table tennis training base in Sheffield is closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"I'm not 100%. I'm doing rehab on my own at home and doing as much as I can with my knee," Bayley said.

"I'm having video sessions with the physio team from the English Institute of Sport.

"It has been difficult as there are things which I can't do, but I'm doing what they are telling me and I'm starting to train on a Wattbike and hoping that will help.

"Having Tokyo 2021 as a goal has really helped me. I think the Games will be even bigger and it will be amazing."

In the special lockdown edition of the podcast, fellow Paralympian Stef Reid said the delay to 2021 has changed her mindset and given the long jumper the opportunity to try different things.

Boccia player Claire Taggart explained how her and her team-mates are coping with isolation and how her animal collection is keeping her busy.

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