Will Bayley won a gold and a silver medal as part of a successful British team performance in Slovenia ©Getty Images

British pair Will Bayley and Billy Shilton capped a successful season-opening performance by winning gold at the Slovenia Para Open gold in Lasko, beating a Spanish world champion pairing in the final.

The duo were too strong for Spanish opposition Jordi Morales, Alvaro Valera and Alberto Seoane Alcazar, triumphing 3-1 to hone their preparations for a medals-tilt at next year's Paralympics in Rio.

“It means a lot to beat the world champions and shows we’ve got a really world class team," said Bayley, a world singles champion who also won a class seven silver medal at London 2012.

"Hopefully we’ll get to play [world silver medallists] Ukraine soon and compete for major medals - that is what I want to do.”

The victory came as part of a strong tournament for Britain,  with class six singles gold for Paul Karabardak as well as silver medals for Bayley and class one player Rob Davies, and bronzes for Jane Campbell and Kim Daybell in the respective women's class three and men's class 10 divisions.

“Overall the performance of the team was great and now we go on to Slovakia and try and maintain the results there and then later this month in Germany,” said Gorazd Vecko, the team's delighted performance director.

Poland's Karolina Pek was among the other winners in Slovenia ©Getty Images
Poland's Karolina Pek was among the other winners in Slovenia ©Getty Images

In a good sign ahead of Rio 2016, the main shock of the day came when Brazilians Carla Azevedo and Catia de Silva Oliveira upset the top-seeded combination of Russia’s Nadejda Pouchpacheva and Jordan’s Maha Al-Bargouthi in the women’s team class one-two event.

Other winners included Poland’s Karolina Pek, who defended the women’s singles class nine title she also won 12 months ago, while Sweden’s Ingela Lundbäck and Germany’s Sandra Mikolanschek combined to triumph in the class five team competition.

There is a swift transition to the next event on the Para-table tennis calendar, with the Slovakia Open beginning in Bratislava tomorrow.

Related stories
April 2015:
 Table tennis star Bayley becomes first Paralympian inducted into English Institute of Sport Hall of Champions
September 2014: Bayley beats world number one to lift Para-table tennis World Championships title