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London

WILL BAYLEY BLOG FOR JLL - AUGUST 2014


It's a busy time for Will Bayley, one of JLL's four sponsored athletes, who is about to embark on his bid for the Para Table Tennis World Championship title in China which commences on the 6th September. The London 2012 star and world number two has reached the final of the men's class 7 singles at the last three major championships and is looking for his first World Championship medal following his gold win in the Europeans in 2011, Paralympic silver in 2012 and European silver in 2013. Below is his latest blog-  For updates on his progress in China follow @WillBayleytt and @JLLUK  

Since we got back from the Slovakia Open in May training has been pretty full on apart from a week off in July. I'm really happy that I've had three months to try and get my game into the place it needs to be for the World Championships in China. I think that is when I play my best - when I've had a break from competition and I can focus on training and have a game plan for every single player. The major championships are where the best players will always do well because you have the best venues and tables and you get to prepare properly for every single match so I like the idea that all the pressure of the season goes into that major tournament.

When you are training in between competitions it is much more physical. We've just come back from a nine-day camp in Slovenia which was a very physical training camp. We had a lot of match play sessions so it was very mentally tough and that was a hard part to get over. Now I've got to try and focus on being as intense over the last few sessions before China.  In the last few sessions before a major championship the intensity always goes up as everyone is feeling a bit nervous about the tournament but I think that is normal. It is what happened in 2012 and everyone on the team is just looking forward to it really.

There were other countries at the Slovenia camp including Germany and I practiced one session with Jochem (Wollmert). I don't think my coach wanted me to do too much with him as we might play each other in the worlds. He's very unpredictable because although he hasn't had great results this season he can still play brilliant table tennis and he's a very clever player. We had one session and I really enjoyed it - it was in good spirit which is the way I like to play and train. There is always a bit extra when I play or train with him because we have a lot of history and we've played lots of important matches. He is one of those players that rises to the big occasion and plays well on the big stage and I think I am as well. I've played in three major finals and he has been in five Paralympic finals which is an incredible record so we've got a lot of mutual respect for each other.

China is a great place to play table tennis. There are so many fans there and so many people who love the game it makes it a really special place to play. I remember playing in the Paralympics in Beijing in 2008 and it was a surreal experience with all the noise from the Chinese supporters. They are very loud - it was even louder than it was in London - but it's a great place to play and to demonstrate how good you are. It is a real 'rise to the occasion' place.

I don't want to think about medals I just want to take it one match at a time. My first match is going to be like a final and I don't want to think beyond that. I respect every player that I've got to play and every player has trained hard. I believe that my preparation has been perfect and that's all I can do. I just want to play my best and fight for every point and see what happens.

Away from training I've been trying to chill, go to the movies and relax as much as possible. I've also been going home to Kent as much as I can at weekends. It is good to see my family as I don't get home that much. It's not easy to totally relax when you've got the World championships coming up because obviously it means a lot to me and it's not easy to shut your mind off from it.

I really enjoyed spending the day with JLL at Dorney Lake in July. Starting competitors off on the triathlon was really fun and I was made to feel very welcome. I hope that I gave them a bit of a boost on the start line - I think they were happy that I was there and they were cheering me which was a nice feeling. It's nice to have that support and good to get out of the training hall and meet new people. It is important for me not to get too bogged down with table tennis and to do other things as then you can come back fresh and that was a really good day.