Wandsworth table tennis star Aaron McKibbin is kicking off a big year by competing in the Lignano Master Open in Italy this week.

The 23-year-old has already qualified for the Rio Paralympic games by winning gold in the men’s class 8 singles at the China Open last November, beating the Chinese world number two in the final.

And after a tough winter’s training he is looking to continue that good form in 2016.

He said: “Training has been going really well and I’m excited to kick the season off and start what is going to be a big year for the whole team and the country so I’m looking forward to it.

"China taught me a lot about myself and gave me a big confidence boost and it’s now time for me to use it as a stepping stone to push on to better things."

He added: "Obviously everyone would like to make a good start in Italy, but it is a long season and still seven months away from the Games.

"The key is to be at our peak for Rio, but every opportunity we have to play internationals we want to be as ready as we can and play as well as we can so it will be good to see what happens.”

The Lignano Master Open starts on Wednesday, and the Rio Paralympics gets under way on September 7.