by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer
Present at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games, presently listed at no.22 on the men’s world rankings, the 26 year old lines up alongside Paul Drinkhall, Sam Walker and Tom Jarvis.
Following the 3-1 win against Japan at the ZEN-NOH 2019 Team World Cup, the British outfit occupies the no.7 seeded spot in Gondomar; they start as favourites to secure one of the nine positions available for Tokyo 2020.
Favourites but Liam Pitchford has his feet firmly on the floor; he explained.
“Of course we have a chance to qualify but it will be very hard. We have proved that we can beat any team in the world on our day, so we need to make sure we are prepared for tough matches. We are on a good road to being in good shape, we are preparing well and everybody is feeling good.
The Olympic Games is the pinnacle of every athlete’s career I would say, so it’s a massive honour to compete for your country at the highest level.
My first target in 2020 is to qualify for Tokyo, then hopefully that will be a weight off our shoulders; then I can focus on preparing in the best way possible and getting some good results on the World Tour.
Table tennis has given me a great life as I get to travel the world doing the sport I love.”
Editor’s note: Great Britain
- The Olympic Games is a competition that involves athletes representing National Olympic Committees.
- Great Britain is an island that comprises England, Scotland and Wales.
- Add Northern Ireland and the full title is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; the National Olympic Committee is the British Olympic Association.
- Thus with reference to the Olympic Games the name is: the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Olympic Team. Is it often shortened to Great Britain or Team GB.
- Known as Crown dependencies – Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey – plus British overseas territories which do not have their own National Olympic Committees compete as Great Britain.
- Athletes from Northern Ireland may choose whether to compete for Great Britain or for the Republic of Ireland.