Team GB Short list: 4 home nations with an age range between 18 and 28
31/01/2012 – With 6 months to go until the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games, the short list for the Team GB table tennis squad has now been announced, with just 6 men and 4 women now fighting it out to make the final selection of 3 men a
31/01/2012 – With 6 months to go until the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games, the short list for the Team GB table tennis squad has now been announced, with just 6 men and 4 women now fighting it out to make the final selection of 3 men and 3 women.
The list features players from all 4 home nations and with an age range between 18 and 28 the squad shows a strong future for British table tennis with longevity for both London 2012 and Rio in 2016.
With a wealth of international competitions in the first quarter of 2012, it is crucial that each player performs at their highest level if they wish to influence the selectors and make the final cut.
Since the original long list was created we have already seen a dramatic upturn in performance, with stand out results from the youngest player on the long list, Liam PITCHFORD, who has defeated Vladmir SAMSANOV and Alexey SMIRNOV, ranked 9th and 20th in the world and Andrew BAGGALEY who made it through to the last 16 in the recent World Tour in Hungary.
Joanna PARKER: “I have devoted most of my life to playing table tennis, I love competing, especially for my country. To represent GB in the Olympic Games in my home country would just be a dream come true. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity that we are lucky to have.”
Darius KNIGHT: “For me its everything, its the start of my career, nothing better than kicking it off in your own back garden. I will be 21 so in table tennis terms that’s quite young as the older players play till about 35-50 depending on how fit you are and if you stay injury free. A chance to show people from the UK how table tennis is played as it’s considered as a low sport.”
Andrew BAGGALEY: ” I’m in the best form of my life and I reckon my best year will be from now until my mid thirties.”
Men: Andrew BAGGALEY (England), Paul DRINKHALL (England), Darius KNIGHT (England), Liam PITCHFORD (England), Danny REED (England), Gavin RUMGAY (Scotland)
Women: NA Liu (Northern Ireland), Naomi OWENS (Wales), Joanna PARKER (England), Kelly SIBLEY (England).
(by James CORNFORD, courtesy ETTA)