ENGLAND’S strong table tennis form continued in Glasgow this morning as all three of the region’s players made it through the first round of the mixed doubles competition.
Stockton’s Karina Le Fevre barely featured in the women’s team event at the start of the Commonwealth Games programme, but the Teesside University student successfully blew away any cobwebs as she linked up with Sam Walker to beat Barbados duo Anthonette Riley and Mark-Anthony Dowell 11-7, 11-5, 11-8.
The English pairing had never previously played together, but they struck up an instant relationship to safely negotiate their opening encounter at the Scotstoun Sports Centre.
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“That was a nice match to get in with,” said Le Fevre. “We were pretty confident going in, we had a few nerves at the beginning, but we sorted them out and are through.
“I’ve never played with Sam before. But I always play with attackers and I have played with right-handers like him already, so it is nothing totally new.
“You just have to get used to things, but it was fine in that first match and we can build on it in the next round.”
Hutton Rudby’s Danny Reed joined up with Kelly Sibley, and needed just 14 minutes to see off the Mauritian pair of Widaad Gukhool and Akhilen Yogarajah in straight sets.
“We’ve been training loads because this is a good event for us to get a medal,” said Sibley. “Mine and Danny’s game suits each other. We are positive and bounce off each other, and now we can focus on the next match.”
Man-and-wife duo Paul and Joanna Drinkhall surprisingly dropped a set against their opponents from the Seychelles, but eventually came through 11-4, 11-6, 11-13, 11-0.