Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Table Tennis: PAUL BATTLES ELITE - AND FLU

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Table Tennis: PAUL BATTLES ELITE - AND FLU

Article excerpt

Byline: By PHILIP TALLENTIRE

PAUL Drinkhall must overcome the continent's elite players as well as a bout of flu to retain his European Youth Top 10 title.

The Loftus 18-year-old has been laid low by an untimely dose of influenza but is hopeful of being fit enough to defend his title.

The competition takes place at the English Institute of Sport, in Sheffield, over the weekend. English No.1 Paul and his compatriot, national No.2 Darius Knight, are the favourites to win the prestigious youth prize.

The Cleveland player is the top seed to lift the crown a year on from his success in the same competition, which was then staged in Latvia.

The accolades keep flooding in for Paul, who has been named the British Olympic Association's 2007 Olympic Athlete of the Year trophy in the table tennis category.

Introduced in 2005 to mark the BOA's centenary year and the awarding of the 2012 Olympics to London, the association presented a trophy to each of the 35 Olympic Governing Bodies for them to award on an annual basis to their top Olympic Athlete.

BOA chief executive Simon Clegg said: "The presentation of these trophies recognises the drive, determination and commitment of athletes across all of our Olympic sports as they strive to achieve their goals in the international sporting arena. …

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