Team England has announced eight Table Tennis players and five Para Table Tennis players set to represent the home nation at this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The team consists of athletes with previous Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games success – including the likes of two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sue Bailey, defending men's doubles champions Liam Pitchford and Paul Drinkhall as well as three-time Paralympic bronze medallist and defending Commonwealth Games champion Ross Wilson. Team England’s Generation 22 athlete Tom Jarvis has also been selected to represent the home nation. The athletes will look to ‘Bring it Home’ at The NEC from Friday 29th July to Monday 8th August.
This summer, Team England will comprise of over 400 athletes in total, all of whom will look to capitalise on the once in a lifetime opportunity to bring home success in their own country. The Table Tennis and Para Table Tennis players announced to represent Team England are:
· Charlotte Bardsley, Stourbridge
· Liam Pitchford, Nottingham
· Maria Tsaptsinos, Reading
· Mollie Patterson, Kings Lynn
· Paul Drinkhall, Addlestone
· Sam Walker, Worksop
· Tom Jarvis, Skegness
· Tin-Tin Ho, London
Para Table Tennis:
· Daniel Bullen, St Neots
· Fliss Pickard, Burnley
· Jack Hunter-Spivey, Liverpool (lives in Sheffield)
· Ross Wilson, Kent (lives in Sheffield)
· Sue Bailey, Barnsley
Unlike many other athletes in Team England, this year Bailey will represent Team England at a second home Commonwealth Games and is hoping to build upon her previous success. Speaking to Team England on her selection, two-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist Sue Bailey said: “I’m thrilled to be selected for my third Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Winning gold in Manchester and Melbourne was amazing, especially in front of a home crowd in Manchester. The Commonwealth Games is the only event where we are in a combined team with non-disabled athletes, and it is always special to be able to compete at home in front of family and friends who normally don’t get to see me play.”
Speaking to Team England about playing in front of a home crowd, West Midlands player Charlotte Bardsley shared: “I’m really excited to be representing Team England at the Games and it feels particularly great because it’s in Birmingham. I’m very happy that all my hard work has paid off. It feels like I have been working for a long time towards this. It’ll be great to play in front of a home crowd and experience that. It’s such a big tournament and I’ve never experienced something like that, especially at home and being a multi-sport event.”
Fighting back following a major hip operation early in the pandemic to win his first national men's singles title this year, Team England Generation 22 athlete Tom Jarvis said: “With all the stuff that’s happened over the last four years, it’s great to be in the squad, especially with it being in England. I want to win gold in the team, that’s the focus for me, and I think the team is in a good place. I hope it’s going to be loud and a bit crazy in the hall, because it’s more fun to play when it’s like that.”
Team England’s Chef de Mission, Mark England OBE, welcomed the athletes to the team: “I am delighted to welcome our Table Tennis players and Para Table Tennis players to Team England for the home Games this summer. It is wonderful to see Sue Bailey represent Team England at a home Games for a second time, and I wish all the athletes the best of luck”
You can get behind Team England by following its social channels where each athlete will become Part of the Pride in the run up to Birmingham.
The Commonwealth Games is a multi-sport event with a fully integrated programme of para sport disciplines and this year’s Games promises to be extra special with full stadiums and arenas after Tokyo 2020 took place behind closed doors. Birmingham 2022 is set to have the largest ever female and para sport programme in history after a new discipline of Women’s T20 Cricket, Beach Volleyball and Para Table Tennis were confirmed.