DISABILITY SPORT: Table tennis talent Dan Bullen delighted with national championships showing
- Credit: Archant
Disability star Dan Bullen declared himself delighted with his performance at the England Senior National Championships last weekend.
The St Neots ace was pipped to glory in the Class 3-5 Para competition in Nottingham after a titanic final clash with Jack Hunter-Spivey.
Bullen lost the first set 11-8 before reeling off six consecutive points from 7-5 down to level in the second set after taking a time-out.
Hunter-Spivey again edged ahead by taking the third set 11-8 but the local man replied 11-7 to set up a decider.
The closing set was deadlocked at 6-6 before Hunter-Spivey eased clear to triumph 11-7 and lift the crown, but Bullen's display in defeat earned many admirers.
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"I'm really pleased with how I played this weekend," he said. "Everything I am doing in training is starting to come into my matches.
"I felt the pressure a little bit in the first set, but then I started to relax and felt that I could play how I know I can.
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"It was the first time I have played in front of a big crowd like that so I did feel the pressure.
"It is our Nationals next and I'm hoping to do well there. I've learnt a lot from playing with Jack - what I need to now work on to raise my level even more so hopefully in a few weeks I can give him another good match."
Bullen had earlier lost 3-2 to Hunter-Spivey in the opening game of the group stage before both players advanced to the semi-finals after beating Lee York.
Bullen then beat Megan Shackleton - who topped the other group - at the semi-final stage to set up a showpiece date against Hunter-Spivey in which he took his more experienced rival all the way.
Bullen added: "Belief is something I have struggled with over the past years so to be able to have a five-setter twice against Jack has really helped me with believing that I can do it."
Bullen will next challenge for success in the British Para Table Tennis National Championships in Grantham early next month.