Drinkhall handed favourable draw

25 July 2012 / 16:39

Great Britain's Paul Drinkhall will face Ibrahem Alhasan of Kuwait or Congo's Saheed Idowu in the first round of the men's table tennis singles at the London 2012 Olympics.

Drinkhall, who - like his team-mates - used host nation qualification places to partake in the Games, enters the competition at the first-round stage on Saturday.

The only Briton in the men's singles draw is set for a winnable contest first up with both potential opponents - who will battle it out in the preliminary round - sitting below him in the world rankings.

Joanna Parker, Team GB's only representative in the women's singles, will compete against Brazil's Caroline Kumahara or Djibouti's Yasmin Hassan Farah in her first-round match.

In the team events, Parker will be joined by Kelly Sibley and Na Liu while Drinkhall will line up alongside Andrew Baggaley and Liam Pitchford.

Women's head coach Alan Cooke told Press Association Sport: "The men (in the team event) have got as good a draw as they could have hoped.

"The girls' draw was always going to be very tough; we have seen the North Korean girls on the circuit but we do not know a huge amount about them.

"If Paul and Joanna play well in the singles, they have definitely got chances. The disadvantage is they get an extra match, but that gives us a chance to have a closer look at our opponents.

"We have no complaints. The draw is pretty good for both Paul and Joanna."