Sheffield Paralympian reaches the final eight
Sheffield alumnus David Wetherill (BSc Biological Chemistry 2012) has concluded a fantastic performance at the Rio 2016 Paralympics with a place in the final eight in the Table Tennis Class 6 competition. Sadly David lost out very closely in his quarter-final match, taking the first two games, but narrowly losing the final three to the top seed who went on to take the Silver medal. With this result David has equalled his finish at the Beijing Games in 2008.
Even before starting his studies at Sheffield David already showed promise having competed at the Beijing Paralympics where he finished in the top eight, knocking out the reigning champion along the way. David went on to compete at London 2012 (during which he produced an incredible shot, throwing himself the width of the table to return the ball and in doing so became an internet sensation) and earned his place at Rio 2016 after winning a Bronze medal in the singles and a Silver medal in the team event at the 2015 European Championships.
Alongside Olympic medal winners Hollie Webb and Bryony Page, David was part of the University’s Elite Sport Performance Scheme (ESPS) which uses donations from alumni and friends of the University to provide financial and academic support to talented athletes during their studies. Speaking in 2012 at the annual ESPS awards ceremony David said of the ESPS:
"Having been through ESPS myself I felt really honoured to be asked to come back and present the awards. Sheffield is a great city for sport and it is wonderful to come back and thank the people who supported me through my time here at the University of Sheffield.
"Going to London 2012 was one of the best experiences of my life – walking out in front of a home crowd and having everyone cheering for you was absolutely phenomenal. It is fantastic to think that I may be competing alongside some of the new ESPS students at Rio 2016."
David still trains in Sheffield at the English Institute of Sport (EIS), and splits his time between the EIS and his hometown of Plymouth. David was born with Multiple Epiphyseal Dysplasia, a bone condition which affects the growing ends of his bones; however he has always used this to drive himself and his sporting career.
To read about Sheffield's other successes in Rio take a look at our Olympic Medal Winning Alumnae.
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