England name table tennis squad for Glasgow - We Are England
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05.06.2014 England name table tennis squad for Glasgow
Andrew Baggaley medals

Team England’s table tennis players for the Commonwealth Games have been revealed today.

Among the team of ten is double Commonwealth Games gold medallist Andrew Baggaley, world number 56 Liam Pitchford, plus London 2012 Olympians Paul and Joanna Drinkhall and Kelly Sibley. Delhi 2010 competitors Hannah Hicks, Karina Le Fevre and Daniel Reed return whilst Tin-Tin Ho and Sam Walker both make their Commonwealth debuts.

Four years ago England secured one silver (men’s team) and two bronze medals (men’s doubles and mixed doubles) for a fourth place finish in the sport’s medals table. England have a total of ten medals - four gold, two silver and four bronze - from three Games.

Five-time medallist Andrew Baggaley will represent England for a fourth time having made his debut in 2002, the first edition of the Games to feature the sport. The 31-year-old is the home nations’ most decorated table tennis player and will be the only member of England’s 2002 squad to feature in Glasgow.

Speaking after being confirmed as a member of Team England’s squad for Glasgow he said:

"I feel honoured and extremely fortunate to yet again represent Team England at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

“When table tennis made its debut as a Commonwealth Games sport on home soil at Manchester 2002 I did not think I would be competing again in 12 years’ time in Britain!

“I believe I have been successful at previous Commonwealth Games events but feel I will face the biggest challenge of my career at Glasgow 2014.”

Men’s national champion Liam Pitchford has two medals from Delhi 2010, silver and bronze, and last month in Tokyo helped England win the Challenge Division at the World Team Table Tennis Championships along with Paul Drinkhall, silver and bronze medallist from Delhi and a four-time national champion.

Paul’s wife Joanna Drinkhall, the women’s national champion who won bronze in the mixed doubles event in Delhi, makes her third appearance at the Commonwealth Games, as does Kelly Sibley, both having competed at the Melbourne 2006 and Delhi 2010 Games.

Table tennis at Glasgow 2014 will take place at Scotstoun Leisure Centre with seven titles on offer, competition running between July 24th and August 2nd.

Team England Chef de Mission Jan Paterson said: “I am delighted to welcome these ten athletes to Team England and look forward to seeing them compete in Glasgow this summer.

“We have a great deal of experience in this squad, with five of the ten already Commonwealth Games medallists, but also some promising young players who have been impressing in recent months.

“Glasgow 2014 will be a great opportunity for everyone and we look forward to seeing them in just under two months’ time.”

Joanna Drinkhall said: "I am very honoured to be selected to represent England in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer.

“I am now really looking forward to competing and hopefully coming away with some medals."

Paul Drinkhall said: “I am very happy to be part of Team England for the Commonwealth Games again!

“I think the team is in a great place to be fighting for medals in every event, and for me personally I am really looking forward to the whole experience and hopefully coming away with lots of medals!”

Hannah Hicks said: “I am completely honoured and thrilled to be representing my country in the Commonwealth Games.

“After experiencing it in Delhi in 2010 and just missing out on a bronze medal in the team event, my desire and drive to achieving it this year with the girls is even bigger!

“Not only that, being in the village surrounded by other world class athletes is just mind blowing! It’s going to be very inspirational!”

Tin-Tin Ho said: “I am so excited and overjoyed that I have been selected and have received the opportunity to represent my country in the Commonwealth Games.

“As it is my first Games, I am really looking forward to the experience, learning from all the athletes and hopefully winning a medal with the team!"

Karina Le Fevre said: “I am thrilled to have been selected for the Commonwealth Games and look forward to being a part of Team England once again.

“It is one of the biggest events with a great atmosphere, and we will be hoping to challenge for medals in all our events.”

Liam Pitchford said: “I'm honoured to be selected for my second Commonwealth Games, it's a massive tournament and I'm really looking forward to competing.

“Delhi 2010 was a major step forward for me in my career so I'm hoping Glasgow can be even bigger and I can come home with some gold medals this time.”

Daniel Reed said: “I am very proud and excited to have been selected to represent England in Glasgow this summer.

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported and helped me to achieve this honour, especially my coaches, my family, friends and Sheffield Hallam University.

“Following the team’s recent success at the World Championships in Tokyo, I believe we are strong enough to build upon the Team Silver medal we won in Delhi."

Kelly Sibley said: “I am really happy and excited to be selected to represent Team England at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the fact that the Games are on home soil makes it even more exciting as family and friends will be coming to watch and support us.

“Four years ago we just lost out on a medal and that was the most heart-breaking experience I have ever had in my table tennis career, but I have been working very hard in training leading up to the Games so that this time hopefully we can go one step further and win a medal."

Sam Walker said: “It feels great to be representing England at such a prestigious event, four years ago I watched the England men's team win a silver medal in Delhi and all I could think at that time was how much I wanted to be in that team too, to win medals at the Commonwealth Games - so I set a goal to make the team for Glasgow.

“Now that I've got that chance, I'm ready to go and fight for my country and the team to win those medals, only hopefully this time it will be gold instead of silver!”

Team Leader Jon Pett said of the announcement: “We are proud to announce the selection of such a strong squad of talented athletes who I’m sure will do their country proud.

“There is a good balance of experience and youth within the squad, coming into the Games on the back of a number of strong performances over the last 12 months. The Commonwealth Games are an important milestone for the sport and the athletes.

“Personally I am honoured and delighted to be leading the team for Glasgow 2014 and to have the opportunity to support our athletes to achieve, and experience everything that a Commonwealth Games has to offer.

“England has performed well in table tennis at previous Games, and we hope to continue that success in Glasgow.”

The team in full is as follows:
 

Name

From/Lives

Trains

Andrew Baggaley

Northampton/
Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes

Joanna Drinkhall

Chertsey, Surrey

Surrey

Paul Drinkhall

Middlesbrough/
Chertsey, Surrey

Germany

Hannah Hicks

Swindon/
Kettering

Sheffield/
Grantham

Tin-Tin Ho

London

London

Karina Le Fevre

Stockton-On-Tees

Ormesby
/Sheffield

Liam Pitchford

Chesterfield

Germany

Daniel Reed

Northallerton/
Yarm

Germany

Kelly Sibley

Leamington Spa/
Sheffield

Sheffield

Samuel Walker

Sutton in Ashfield/
Worksop

Germany