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Athletics Kim Daybell goes from para-table tennis player to junior doctor

KIM DAYBELL was planning to take extended leave from his job as a junior doctor next week to focus full-time on preparations for his third Paralympic Games.

Instead the para-table tennis player from Sheffield has found himself thrust onto the front line of Britain’s coronavirus fight, working 12-hour shifts which leave him too weary to queue for food.

Reaching the now-delayed Games in 2021 is currently the last thing on the mind of 27-year-old Daybell as he prepares the wards at Whittington Hospital in north London for the expected surge in coronavirus cases in the weeks ahead.

Daybell represented Great Britain at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics, where he reached the quarter-finals, and won a silver medal for England at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

He said: “My original plan was to finish work next week then be off for three or four months to train up for Tokyo.

“Instead, I’m moving onto 12-hour shifts. I work at one of the smaller hospitals in north London, and every single bed is being prepared to be a potential corona bed.

“Our capacity is filling up and we are waiting to be hit by the big wave. We are cancelling elective surgeries and clearing out the surgery department to open up as many extra beds as possible.”

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