James Pendleton is an amazing company. They have been a big part of me winning a bronze medal in Rio 2016 and have been so supportive with all my achievements, which wouldn't have been possible without them. They have given me so many opportunities, I am privileged to be associated with such fantastic people who give so much back to the local community.
Having recently rented my property through James Pendelton, I can't recommend them highly enough. They walked me through the process and found me amazing tenants. From the first contact they were professional and informative. Thank you to Jacob, you were amazing. Thank you also to the Angel Department who, after realising I needed safely certificates, sorted everything out for me and made sure I had everything in order.
Aaron McKibbin prepares for Rio 2016
This year is a huge year in the sporting world, as athletes from across the globe converge in Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil for the 2016 Paralympic and Olympic games. Sportsmen and women from a wide variety of disciplines have been preparing for four years for the most significant gathering of skill, speed, strength and stamina in the sporting calendar.
We are extremely proud to be sponsoring one of the participating athletes in this year’s Games. Aaron McKibbin, a Wandsworth local, is a 2012 Paralympic Bronze medalist in Table Tennis and stands in good stead, along with the rest of team GB, to perform well this year. We have followed and shared the training, activities and public events Aaron has been taking part in. Each step of the journey is both a huge challenge - seeing the athlete play against the world’s top players - and a step closer to the podium.
In this pre-Rio update we’ll run through the last few events Aaron has taken part in. As usual,
competitions increase in number and intensity in the months running up to the Olympics and
Paralympics, so this update is more packed than usual!
At the end of April, Team GB headed out to Europe for several weeks of training and international
competitions, starting in Slovenia. After several days of team training, the tournament began in Lasko on
For McKibbin, the competition in Slovenia began well; he beat Russian Aleksei Saunin 3-1. This win was
followed by a loss against a much higher seeded player, world number 6 Andras Czonka. Despite losing
3-1 the match was hard fought and scores were close-set. After the match McKibbin said: “Czonka is a
top player and will be someone I’m competing against at Rio. It’s always a tight match and I feel at the
big stages I didn’t get the luck but I tried a few new things and felt I played really well, maybe on a
different day a few points could have gone my way and this result could be different.”
Following the loss against Czonka, Mckibbin beat Dutch player Max Van Amerongen to reach the final
16, where his first opponent was Marcin Skrzynecki, current World Silver team medalist and Paralympic
Gold team medalist. We’re excited to report a 3-1 victory for McKibbin against Skrzynecki, which put
him through to the quarter finals, where he sadly lost to Emil Andersson, currently ranked world number
7. After a turbulent Singles tournament, Mckibbin said: “Over all my singles has improved I’ve put in
some good performances and will keep pushing to improve.”
In the team events, McKibbin joined William Bayley and Ross Wilson, with whom he won Bronze in the
2012 Paralympic team events. The team have a track record of working together well; this success
continued in the Slovenia Open. Team GB won matches against Hungary, Russia and Italy to reach the
quarter-finals. In this round they came up against Belgium in a series of singles and doubles matches.
The first two doubles matches were lost 3-1; in the remaining two singles matches Ross and Aaron were
victors, propelling the team into the semi-finals against China. After three semi-final losses, GB secured
their final Bronze position. Aaron said of the competition “To lose 11-9 in the 5th to China shows all the
doubles practice we are doing is paying off and we are so close to one of the medal contenders in Rio
that it’s only a positive “
Following an exhilarating competition in Slovenia, Team GB travelled to Slovakia, where their fight
began with three victories by Aaron over players from France, Thailand and Belgium. That McKibbin’s
singles game has improved in leaps and bounds is clear - after three successful matches he topped his
group and moved into the final 16. Unfortunately McKibbin lost his next match, against the Slovakian
world number 9 Richard Csejtey, and left the singles competition. “I’m really disappointed with this
result, I’ve been working a lot of my receive of service and in this match I just made too many mistakes”
said Aaron. “The game score was really tight the first 3 sets but I was finding it hard to receive his service
well, I’m hoping we draw Slovakia in the team event so I get another crack at him to put it right!”
Fortunately for Aaron, in the team rounds he was indeed able to take part in a re-match. Pairing up with
Billy Shilton for the doubles, wins against Australia and Poland brought the team up against Slovakia,
where they secured a 3-0 win, leading to a match between McKibbin and Csejtley, where the Londoner
won 3-1. “I’m really happy to win this game, I felt I did myself justice today and after speaking to my
coaches with what I did wrong in the singles against him, I think I changed this and in return the result
turned in my favour”.Team GB then moved into the quarterfinals against Belgium. After a doubles
victory, both McKibbin and Shilton lost their singles matches and the team left the competition.
With two superb and hard-fought performances under his belt, McKibbin has proved not only that he
can hold his own against the world’s best, but also that he is constantly improving and fighting to
achieve greater results. What’s more, heading into Rio he has scores to settle. “To be fair Loicq played a
very good match and would love the chance to play him in Rio to prove to myself it was just a slip up. It’s
been a very long few weeks with ups and downs. I know where I am now and I’m really looking forward to
the next few months of training to be as ready as possible by Rio. I’m more motivated then ever now to
be the best I can by Rio and I know I will be.“
With Rio 2016 just around the corner, we’re looking forward to an exciting summer of sport from an
incredible, inspiring local athlete. We’ll keep you updated on McKibbin’s path to Brazil and we hope
you’ll join us in celebrating Team GB this summer!