Paralympic table tennis gold medallist Rob Davies aims to inspire others

Rob Davies
Rio gold medallist Rob Davies has been playing table tennis competitively since 2007

Welsh Paralympic table tennis champion Rob Davies is hoping his gold medal success in Rio will inspire the next generation.

The 32-year-old from Brecon contributed to Team GB's haul of 147 medals by beating Young Dae Joo of Korea in the final of the class 1 table tennis.

It added Paralympic gold to his European title and cemented his world number one status.

"For me there's nothing better than inspiring others," said Davies.

"There's nothing better than seeing someone getting into table tennis or being inspired or getting into sport just by watching myself or one of the others.

"If i could get someone into table tennis I would be very proud to have done that."

Davies has used a wheelchair since being injured playing rugby in 2005.

Following his injury, Davies was introduced to table tennis by fellow Welsh Paralympian, Sara Head, and his rise has been meteoric.

Playing with the bat strapped to his hand, using straps made by his grandparents, Davies said his success in Rio meant all his hard work had been worth it.

"It's been a hard few years," Davies told BBC Radio Wales.

"So to get where I am and to be Paralympic champion, I'm not really sure it's sunk in yet. It was an amazing couple of weeks out in Rio, but to come home with the gold medal makes it all worth it.

"The support has been amazing from back home. I don't think we really realised it till we got back. It was crazy when we got back to the airport. When I got back home to Brecon there was bunting and banners outside the house. It's all been a bit surreal really."

Davies has not ruled out defending his title at the Paralympics in Tokyo in four years, but he will need to check first with someone rather important.

"I'd like to, but we will have to see how the plans go," he added.

"I'm getting married next year so we will see how things go. I'll just take things one step at a time."