Brave Brits exit in table tennis

03 August 2012 / 21:27

Team GB's men's valiant efforts went unrewarded as they crashed out of the table tennis team event at the London 2012 Olympics.

After being seeded in the bottom-eight category, their efforts to progress were always likely to prove futile.

Yet Paul Drinkhall, Andrew Baggaley and Liam Pitchford were boosted last week when they were pitted against Portugal, the eighth-ranked side, in the last 16.

That in itself, however, presented a stern challenge, with Marcos Freitas, Tiago Apolonia and Joao Monteiro sitting 31st, 34th and 38th in the ITTF world rankings respectively. None of the Brits are in the top 100, though their performances on the night were worthy of praise.

Tackling Freitas, Drinkhall looked set to give the ExCeL Arena crowd another memorable night having surprisingly beaten Singapore's Zi Yang in the singles.

Yet, despite taking the opening game 15-13, he lost the next three 11-6, 11-7 and 11-8.

Hope was seemingly not lost, however, when Pitchford - who can list world number 14 Vladimir Samsonov among his scalps - repeated the trick versus Monteiro.

Unfortunately, the similarities did not end there; he too lost the next three as Britain's exit from all of the table tennis events moved closer.

It was sealed when Pitchford and Baggaley were unable to live with Apolonia and Monteiro in the doubles, losing 3-0 (11-5, 11-7, 11-8).