Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Table Tennis: It's Bronze at Worst for Drinkhall

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Table Tennis: It's Bronze at Worst for Drinkhall

Article excerpt

CLEVELAND'S England No 1 Paul Drinkhall is guaranteed at least a bronze medal after reaching the semi-finals of the boys' singles at the World Junior Championships.

The second seed reeled off three big wins to reach the last four in Madrid, where he will meet third seed Lee Sang Su of Korea later today for a place in the final.

Loftus ace Drinkhall opened with a hard-fought victory over Cheng Jingqi, a member of the Chinese team which struck World Team gold earlier this week.

Drinkhall took the first two games 11-9, then won the vital fifth after Cheng had levelled the match and wrapped up victory in the sixth game 11-8.

Drinkhall then battled past world No 30 Omar Assar in another close contest in the last 16, running out a 4-3 winner after the Egyptian had restored parity after trailing 3-1.

And he sealed his semi-final spot with a revenge 4-1 thrashing of world No 22 Jung Young Sik, a member of the Korean team which ousted England in the semi-final of the team event.

Drinkhall's semi-final opponent Lee Sang Su, also a team silver medalist with Korea, is ranked sixth in the world, three places behind Drinkhall.

Taipei's Chen Chien-An meets the only remaining Chinese player in the draw, world No 9 Yan An, in the other semifinal.

Drinkhall would be the first British player to win the boys' singles world title if he were to emerge victorious.

Drinkhall's England teammates Darius Knight and Gavin Evans both lost 4-1 to Korean opposition in the third and second round respectively.

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