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Publish date: August 8, 2012
Paul Drinkhall’s amazing summer of sport will continue after he was selected to play for England at the Liebherr Men’s World Cup in September.
The 22-year-old from Loftus has only just finished competing at the London 2012 Olympic Games, where he beat world number 54 Yang Zi (SIN), but he can now look forward to another major international tournament at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
The World Cup, taking place from September 28-30th, will bring together world champions, world tour winners and continental champions as it takes place in Britain for the first time ever.
Drinkhall was understandably excited at being given another chance to challenge the top players in the world. He said: “It’s amazing, it’s a great achievement. I’ve earned the right to get my place and I’ll work hard between now and the event.
It gives me another chance to play the best players. I beat Yang Zi [at the Olympics] and I know I can beat higher ranked players in the world.”
The four-time National Champion recently fell to second place in the English rankings by one point from 19-year-old Liam Pitchford from Chesterfield – the current number one who will act as Drinkhall’s reserve in Liverpool.
Both were part of the Great Britain team who played at the Olympics and experienced the incredible support from fans of both Team GB and table tennis. Drinkhall explained how he didn’t feel the atmosphere will be the same on Merseyside next month.
He said: “I don’t think it will be the same. The fans here have been amazing but they are just general sport fans, anything GB and they go crazy! In Liverpool it will be more people going to see table tennis and the other players there too.
I think it’s good for us to show everybody as many matches as we can in the European League in different places. It’s good to get more people involved in the sport.”
His comments came after the announcement that England will face Romania in a European Championships Qualifier in Hull on September 18th, as English table tennis spreads its exposure across the country.
His experiences this year will put the world number 107 in good stead for his continuing career, including when he begins the 2012/13 season in the Bundesliga for his new club; Werder Bremen.
He said: “I’ll take the experiences from what I’ve learnt here into that tournament. The German League starts in two weeks after the closing ceremony so we’ll just need to get our heads down and focus.”