Baku 2015: New dad Drinkhall looking to Rio with confidence

Baku 2015: New dad Drinkhall looking to Rio with confidence

19 June 2015 / 14:02

Paul Drinkhall vowed to put his European Games podium near miss behind him in the bid to qualify for next year's Olympics.

Drinkhall lost his table tennis men's singles semi-final to Germany's Dimitrij Ovtcharov 4-2 and then was defeated in the bronze medal play-off by the same scoreline, Ukrainian rival Lei Kou proving just too strong for the London 2012 Olympian.

But he revealed fatherhood - his wife, fellow Olympian Joanne, recently gave birth to their first child - has given him a new determination to keep pushing up the world rankings.

“Having a child has had a real positive effect on my game," said Drinkhall.

"I keep looking at pictures of him before I play and it puts a smile on my face – I’m going home tomorrow night and getting back to some more sleepless nights.

“I think in the first set and the last two sets I played really well and he was great. I just handed him two sets too easily to let him get 3-1 up from 1-1 and that cost me.

“If I could have kept the intensity up from the first set and the last two it could have been a lot closer and hopefully in my favour. 

“The disappointment is on small things. Earlier today I was 2-1 up and could have been in the final but I’ll work on those and hopefully in Rio I’ll push on.

"It’s got a lot better and I’ve got a few more months before Rio and hopefully I can get there and do some damage."

© Sportsbeat 2015