11 Apr 2018

Two days ago it was a bitterly disappointed England, a bronze medal in the Men’s Team event at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games but they had hoped for better; they lost to Nigeria to whom great credit must be afforded for responding to the challenge.

In the second round of the Men’s Singles event on Wednesday 11th April, it was a determined trio that entered the Oxenford Studios; furthermore, they issued a very clear message.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

Liam Pitchford led the charge; in the second match of the fixture against Nigeria, he had lost to Bode Abiodun after having held a two games to nil lead (8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 13-11, 11-5).

In the second round of the Men’s Singles event they met again; Liam Pitchford, not at his best but with glimpses of his best, recorded a five games win (13-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-7).

“Monday was poor, I was very disappointed. I was hard on myself. I saw the draw and I didn’t want to lose to him for a second time, I was ready. It wasn’t great today by I won four-one. Today my service and receive was better. Also several time I caught him out with a backhand down the line. Just today everything was better; these things happy. Today I won, I’m happy.” Liam Pitchford

Hard fought but with no moments of drama; it was the same for his colleagues Paul Drinkhall and Sam Walker; Sam Walker beat Canada’s Antoine Bernadet in four straight games (11-2, 11-5, 11-8, 17-15), by a very similar margin Paul Drinkhall defeated Northern Ireland’s Ashley Robinson (11-4, 11-8,11-4, 11-5).

Success for England and there was success for the leading names on duty but there was a scare. India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta needed the full seven games to beat Malaysia’s Javen Choongm, staving off a spirited recovery (11-2, 11-5, 11-4, 7-11, 11-13, 6-11, 11-7).

Testing times for Sharath Kamal Achanta; it was not the situation for the other leading names.

Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna beat Brian Chan Yook Fo of Mauritius (11-4, 11-8, 11-4, 12-10), Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, like Sharath Kamal Achanta from India, accounted for Pakistan’s Muhammad Rameez (11-5, 11-3, 11-5, 11-3). In a similar vein, Singapore’s Gao Ning ended the hopes of Scotland’s Craig Howieson (11-2, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6).

The third round of the Men’s Singles event will be played on Thursday 12th April.

2018 Commonwealth Games Liam Pitchford Paul Drinkhall Sam walker

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Day 11 - 2018 Commonwealth Games