Olympic24: England men in table tennis quarters as Trott shines

Olympic24: England men in table tennis quarters as Trott shines

04 March 2016 / 08:00

England men moved into the last eight of the World Team Table Tennis Championships while Laura Trott won the first British gold of the Track Cycling World Championships. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

  • England men reach World Team Table Tennis Champs quarters
  • Trott leads the way in medal rush at Track World Championships
  • British Lionhearts down the USA again
  • Clark and Federici 15th in Rio
  • Evans replaces Edmund in Davis Cup clash

England men reach World Team Table Tennis Championships quarters

paul drinkhall baku 2015

Paul Drinkhall propelled England to the quarter-finals of the table tennis World Team Championships for the first time since 1983 following a 3-2 victory over Poland in Kuala Lumpur.

Drinkhall, ranked number 72 in the world, beat number 40 Zengyi Wang in four games to kick-start England's triumph, as Liam Pitchford doubled their advantage with a five-game conquest over Jakub Dyjas.

The Poles then pulled two games back as world number 67 Daniel Gorak staved off a Sam Walker resurgence to win their match 3-2, and Wang overcame Pitchford to claim a 3-1 victory and take the tie to a decider.

Drinkhall fell early in the final game, losing the opener to number 82 Dyjas, but pulled back a classy victory including two games on deuce to send the Leopards through to the last eight where they will face France.

"We started badly, two defeats (against Sweden and France), but we are all playing better and better and we have a great spirit in the team," Drinkhall said.

"Now we are through to the quarter-finals and we all really believe we can beat them.

"The first match today against Wang was very difficult; pen-holder fast attacks which is not a style you meet these days.

"Against Jakub I felt in control, I was ahead in the first game and lost but in the fourth I was down 4-9 and won.

"But I came through and we won; make no mistakes he is a very good player and it was a really tough match."

Meanwhile England women were beaten 3-2 by Puerto Rico in their first round of the 25-36th place play-offs. Kelly Sibley won both her matches but it wasn’t enough as Puerto Rico claimed the other three rubbers

Trott opens Britain’s account at track worlds


Laura Trott led the way as Great Britain claimed a clean sweep of medals on the second evening of the Track Cycling World Championships in London as she claimed gold in the women’s scratch event.

Becky James then won bronze in the women's Keirin before the men's team pursuit quartet had to settle for silver.

Trott, 23, claimed her sixth world title as she fought back from well down to power home and she admitted the opportunity to race at the Olympic velodrome, where she won two Olympic golds at London 2012, had inspired her.

She said: “To be here and to win it, is obviously amazing. I just love this track. To win one here in front of all my friends and family is incredible so I’m really happy.

“It just worked out perfectly for me. When I went over (to the front group) I thought this is really early but it worked so I’m so happy.

“I thought this isn’t my race to lose, I wasn’t reigning world champion so I kind of let everyone else get on with it and raced my own race.”

And in the next event of the night Becky James picked up bronze in the Keirin behind German Kristina Vogel and Australian Anna Meares.

James had only managed to reach the second round after winning her repechage race, and then came third to scrape into the final.

But in the final she got onto the wheel of Meares and picked up a surprise medal after recovering from injury and illness.

“I can’t believe it,” said James, who has been sidelined with a serious knee injury and cancer scare since winning two world titles in 2013.

“I can’t get my head round it. A bronze medal, you always want a gold medal but to have a bronze after everything I’ve been through in the last two years, at home in London with the home support. It’s just incredible.

“Each step today was a complete bonus. It doesn’t feel real. I’m over the moon to be back.”

In the final event of the night Sir Bradley Wiggins, Owain Doull, Ed Clancy and Jonathan Dibben had to settle for silver after just running out of steam in the men’s team pursuit.

Great Britain went into the final as slight underdogs after Australia qualified fastest for the final and those positions were respected but not without a huge fight.

The Australians started the fastest, opening up a lead of 0.669 at the midway point but Britain fought back though and had even got back into the lead heading into the final 250 metres.

But with Britain down to three riders after Dibben dropped off the pace, the Australian strength told, and they eventually claimed the win in a time of 3:52.727.

Great Britain came home in 3:53.856, while Denmark won the bronze final ahead of Italy.

And it was so close to a fourth medal overall on Thursday with Matt Crampton earlier finishing fifth in the men’s 1km time trial in 1:01.669, less than a tenth of a second way from bronze.

Although there was disappointment for the women’s pursuit team, which included Trott, as a poor qualifying ride meant they can finish no better than third.

Lionhearts march on with fourth straight win


British Lionhearts made it four wins from four as they downed the USA 4-1 in York Hall to maintain their perfect season.

Super heavyweight Joe Joyce kicked things off with a stoppage of Brandon Lynch before flyweight Muhammad Ali saw off Gaurav Bidhuri on points.

Lightweight Joseph Cordina then beat Bruce Carrington and although welterweight Cyrus Pattinson was beaten, light heavyweight Joshua Buatsi completed the comfortable victory against Souliman Abdourachidov.

Clark and Federici finish 15th

Katie Clark and Olivia Federici ended up in 15th spot in the Olympic Games Synchronised Swimming Qualification Tournament in Rio.

The pair impressed in the Free routine, scoring 79.0000 to finish 15th with their snakes-inspired routine.

That was the same as their position in the Technical programme and as a result they finished in 15th overall with a score of 156.2211.

Evans comes in for injured Edmund

Dan Evans

Dan Evans has been selected to replace Kyle Edmund in Great Britain’s opening round of their Davis Cup defence against Japan.

The 25-year-old comes in after Edmund, who made his Davis Cup debut in last year’s final, had to pull out with a back injury.

He will take on world number six Kei Nishikori in the second rubber in Birmingham, having beaten the Japanese star in the first round of the US Open back in 2013.

Earlier in the day Andy Murray kicks things off against Japanese number two Taro Daniel.

Britain won last year’s final against Belgium and would set up a second round tie with Serbia or Kazakhstan if they get past Japan.

Dom Inglot and Jamie Murray make up the rest of the British team and could combine on Saturday in the doubles.

Sportsbeat 2016