Bailey is given a watching brief at Rio Paralympics

Dermot Bailey

Dermot Bailey

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Kettering wheelchair tennins star Dermot Bailey will be travelling to Rio for the Paralympic Games - but not as part of the four man Great Britain team.

The 22 year-old, who has broken into the top 40 players in the world, is still ranked fifth among the GB performers.

However, he is going as an observer through the Paralympic Improvement Programme to help condition him for a place in the team in Tokyo in four years time.

This has been a tried and tested scheme for current wheelchair tennis players Alfie Hewett and Marc McCarroll in the recent past.

In the mean time Bailey is flying out to Germany next Tuesday to contest a Grade 2 event in Berlin before tackling the British Open at Nottingham which gets underway on July 26.

Bailey said: “The top 20 players in the world will be at the British Open so I should end up meeting one of the best around.

“I have been happy with how I have been playing in practice of late so it will be interesting to see how I get on.”

He added: “It is a great opportunity to go to Rio as an observer.

“The idea is for me to get an idea of the atmosphere and the protocol to be ready for Tokyo in 202.

“I will still only be 26 and the best wheelchair players in the world tend to be in their late 20s and early 30s.”