Daniel targets Tokyo Paralympic table tennis squad place
- Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images
St Neots table tennis starlet Daniel Bullen admits the Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games is the perfect stepping stone to bigger and better things after the teenager secured a silver medal.
More than 1,600 talented school children descended on Manchester to compete in 12 sports across four action-packed days as part of the event.
Bullen, representing England Midlands, battled his way to the wheelchair disability table tennis final where he was narrowly defeated by Nicko Anderson.
But the 16-year-old was pleased with his performances during the event and insists the School Games was the perfect learning experience as he tries to fulfil his Paralympic dream.
“It’s been a very good experience,” said Bullen, a member of St Neots Regional Table Tennis Centre. “It really does prepare you for the international competitions.
“I’m part of the GB pathway squad, which is one level below the main squad and hopefully I can move up in the near future.
“I’m pressing all the time but the main squad are getting too good – they’re getting old but they won’t give up! The Paralympics is a long-term goal of mine and we’ve been told Tokyo in 2020 is realistic.”
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The Sainsbury’s School Games is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and is delivered by the Youth Sport Trust.
The event has helped to launch the careers of many British athletes, including heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds.
Although Bullen just missed out on gold, he took a lot of heart from the way he fought through the tournament
“I’m very happy with my silver medal. My performances here give me a lot of confidence.
“I’m going to France in October for a tournament, so that’s something I’m targeting. I’ve learned I need to play more of an attacking push rather than just getting the ball back.”
The Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games, which is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, was held in Manchester from September 4-7. Visit www.2014schoolgames.com for more information.