Drinkhall satisfied as England's table tennis team progresses

ON SONG: Cleveland's Paul Drinkhall has helped England's table tennis team make the last eight of the Commonwealth Games

ON SONG: Cleveland's Paul Drinkhall has helped England's table tennis team make the last eight of the Commonwealth Games

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

PAUL DRINKHALL has expressed his satisfaction after England's men's table tennis team progressed to the quarter-finals at the Commonwealth Games without dropping a set.

Having enjoyed a perfect record as they beat Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago yesterday, England's men were equally as emphatic this morning as they beat Barbados 3-0.

The victory guaranteed their place in the last eight, and while the standard is likely to step up significantly from now on, Loftus' Drinkhall has been happy with his team's performances so far.

Drinkhall said: "It was a great performance, we’ve still not lost a set and hopefully we can keep on doing that.

“The team has been good, our opponents haven’t been the strongest of the tournament yet but Barbados had some decent players and we managed to put in a professional performance.

“We’ve prepared well, we’re in good shape as we’re showing here so we’ve just got to think positive and be ready for tougher matches.”

Four years ago, England lost in the final of the team competition to Singapore. The Asian nation are on track to make the final again this time around, but if the tournament does turn into a rematch of 2010, Drinkhall is confident it will have a different outcome.

He said: "It would be fantastic to get a gold. With the year we’ve had so far, with me winning the Spanish Open, coming back from injury and then Liam (Pitchford) going up in the rankings, everyone else improving and going through their own pathways to here, it would be amazing.

“Any medal would be great but we’re definitely looking for gold this year.”

England's women, who include Stockton's Karina Le Fevre, have also made it to the quarter-finals of their team competition courtesy of a 3-0 win over Tanzania.

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