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Sparkling England bows out in style

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Published in Table Tennis
Friday, 08 November 2019 02:05

A bronze medalist at the 2018 edition in front of their home fans in London and in Tokyo, they showed class with the duo of Liam Pitchford, Paul Drinkhall guiding the team again in Tokyo.

Also, Tom Jarvis, who is considered the ‘New Kid On the Block’ measured up with the team as his partnership with Drinkhall gave them hope for the future.

From the group stage onwards, they stunned highly-rated teams like hosts Japan with Liam Pitchford being the cynosure of everyone’s eyes with his enticing display that stunned Tomokazu Harimoto and Niwa Koki to hand the European side a 3-1 win.

Not to be carried away by their stunning display against Japan, they put up another good show against Team Austria with a convincing 3-0 against the Robert Gardos-inspired side. Team England’s group stage display is a repeat of what they did in the 2018 edition of the Team World Cup in London.

But in the quarter-final tie against Lin Yun-Ju-led Chinese Taipei, the Englishmen did not come to the battle as they had in the group stages, unable to win when it mattered most. They were beaten 3-0 by a youthful Chinese Taipei side. However, a lot of positives were taken from the competition by Drinkhall and Pitchford.

“I think we were behind in this game especially in the doubles. They trend throughout the match and they are on top of the game. I had the chance to win in the singles but it was a bit close in all the games. It is a good tournament for us having come through the group where we won two important matches. we just need to make some small changes in our game and generally, we have a perfect performance and this is the positive we are taking from this tournament.” Paul Drinkhall

Like Drinkhall, Pitchford is optimistic of the future,

“I think I did fairly well against Yun-Ju Lin because I was leading 9-6 in the first game but he caught up with me. I was virtually leading in all the games but he was not missing his shot and he could receive very well. This is the first time I am playing against him and I could say the match was close throughout. I think we lost to one of the strongest teams in the tournament and we have learnt a lot from this hoping to continue to work harder as a team” Liam Pitchford

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