England stars’ Commonwealth reaction

Team England are on their way back from the Commonwealth Games with two gold, two silver and two bronze medals from the table tennis tournament. Here’s what the 11 athletes had to say about their achievements.

Kim Daybell

Men’s TT6-10 Singles silver medal

Kim Daybell (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Ross played a fantastic game and was just a little bit better than me on the day. We know each other so well and you always want the best for each other so it is hard to get a balance between competitiveness and friendship.

He was just a little bit better than me but I’m really proud. We came here to get an England 1-2 and that’s what we did.

It would have been nice to go one better but if I had to get silver I’m glad it was Ross who got the gold. It’s been a fantastic event – my first Commonwealth Games and hopefully not my last.

Paul Drinkhall

Men’s Doubles gold medal; Men’s Team bronze medal; Men’s Singles last 16

Paul Drinkhall (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

It’s a fantastic achievement. From a very young age you watch a big event like this. We were planning on coming here and winning a lot of medals but to get the gold round our neck is great.

In the singles, it wasn’t the result I wanted so that was very disappointing. We went on to the doubles quite shortly after and from that moment I just tried to stay focused and get the gold and that’s happened now.

Overall it was a good tournament. I think I performed really well throughout but I had a little bit of a lapse in my singles match. That obviously cost me my singles tournament, so it was a little bit too much of a lapse. But those things happen in sport and I’ve got to work on that and try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Tin-Tin Ho

Mixed Doubles silver medal; Women’s Team bronze medal; Women’s Doubles quarter-finals; Women’s Singles last 16

Tin-Tin Ho (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

I’m really happy but of course a bit disappointed as well to lose in the mixed final. Looking back, it’s been a good tournament and I’m happy with two medals.

In the mixed doubles I played well, I was more relaxed, but in the singles I was quite uncomfortable against Mouma Das. I lost 4-3 and I had chances, I didn’t play my best.

Even in the team when we won bronze I didn’t feel like I was playing my best. I’m really glad I still managed to win but hopefully I can work harder and manage to play my top game more often.

David McBeath

Men’s Team bronze medal; Men’s Doubles quarter-finals; Mixed Doubles last 16

David McBeath with Kelly Sibley (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

It’s been a bit up and down, mixed emotions. It was pretty full-on every day, I’ve only had one day without matches and even then I was helping the others warm up.

In the team event, we were gutted to lose to Nigeria – we expected to win that and challenge for the gold medal, but I was happy to step in and do my bit to help the team in the bronze medal match.

We only had about 45 minutes after the defeat to put it behind us, which was unusual, but we managed to do it.

In the doubles I was hoping to be able to challenge for medals, but I’m happy for my first Games to come away with a bronze – though I’d have like to come away with a different colour.

Denise Payet

Women’s Team bronze medal; Mixed Doubles quarter-finals; Women’s Singles last 16

Denise Payet (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

It was my first big games and it’s been great. Coming third in the team – I’m speechless being part of that.

I’m so happy for the girls. They definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. I can’t describe how happy I am to be in the team and I thank them for welcoming me and making me feel part of the team.

Our bench spirit was unbelievable and I tried to give them everything I could from the bench to lift them.

In the singles, I’m happy with the last 16. I beat two ranked much higher than me, so I’m quite happy with that.

Felicity Pickard

Women’s TT6-10 Singles fourth place

Felicity Pickard (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

It’s been an amazing experience and I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve learnt so much and can’t wait to get home and train harder than ever.

The bronze medal match was tough but definitely some positives and massive lessons to be taken from it that will push me even harder.

Liam Pitchford

Men’s Doubles gold medal; Mixed Doubles silver medal; Men’s Team bronze medal; Men’s Singles quarter-finals

Liam Pitchford (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

I’ve wanted that gold medal and to get it was a weight off my shoulders and it helped a lot for me to relax going into the mixed doubles final the next day.”

Obviously I’m proud and happy to get a silver medal but tinged with a little bit of disappointment, you never want to lose a final. It was a close match. The first two sets we had set points and if we’d taken one of them maybe it would have been a different match.

We played the right way but maybe their experience told at the end in the crucial points. I’m not disappointed with a silver medal, it’s nice.

In the singles, I didn’t really play my best table tennis but in the doubles events I focused well and to come away with medals, I’m really happy with that. It’s never bad to come away with a gold, a silver and a bronze.

Kelly Sibley

Women’s Team bronze medal; Women’s Singles quarter-finals; Women’s Doubles last 16; Mixed Doubles last 16

Kelly Sibley (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Our goal coming in was to get a medal in the team. On paper, we had an easy group but right from the word go we were all very sharp and at the top of our games.

What we did well in all of our matches was taking it one point at a time and one ball at a time.

We were playing the hosts in the bronze medal match with the crowd behind them but I thought we were fantastic on the table and on the bench and even though everyone was against us, we were louder than them at times, which was ridiculous. My heart-rate was through the roof when Tin-Tin was playing that last game!

For us to achieve that goal and to be part of the team which won our first women’s team medal was fantastic.

I think I followed up my form into the singles and doubles and I feel I played some of the best table tennis of my career. It was important to play one ball at a time and to reset when I needed to reset and wasn’t afraid to try to put in a good performance.

Overall, I’m quite proud of my performance over the whole of the Games.

Maria Tsaptsinos

Women’s Team bronze medal; Women’s Doubles quarter-finals

Maria Tsaptsinos (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

It’s been brilliant, I’m really happy. We exceeded expectations getting the team bronze, especially against Australia who are ranked one place above us in the team rankings.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous on the bench but the team pulled together really well and everything we’d been practising came on show. It was simple but effective, not going for anything too spectacular and playing a winning game.

The whole experience in the village has been good, it’s been very well organised.

It’s the biggest achievement of my career, a really good feeling. It makes me hungry for more.

Sam Walker

Men’s Team bronze medal; Men’s Singles fourth place; Men’s Doubles quarter-finals, Mixed Doubles last 16

Sam Walker (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

For the squad as a whole it’s been quite good but for me it’s been a bit disappointing. We wanted the gold in the team but we only got the bronze, which was hard. In the doubles I lost in two quarter-finals and in the Singles I lost in the bronze medal match, so it’s been quite hard for me.

In the singles I know I got further than my ranking, but I wanted to win it. Hopefully next time it will be better. I’ve just got to learn from the whole experience and hopefully in four years’ time I can do a lot better.

Ross Wilson

Men’s TT6-10 Singles gold medal

Ross Wilson (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Kim is a great player and it was really tough playing him in the final. It is always tough to play one of your team-mates but we did what we came here to do. We wanted to secure a 1-2 for Team England and that is what we did with gold and silver so we’re really proud. It is an amazing feeling to be Commonwealth champion – it’s something I’ve always dreamt about but never thought was possible.

Author: via Table Tennis England
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