Hopes High For Wales Table Tennis In Home Nations Championships

The Welsh table tennis team will head to Guernsey this weekend for the Home Nations Championships, where the Senior, Junior and Cadet teams will take on their counterparts from Ireland, England, Scotland, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey.

Dean Cundy and Callum Evans will lead the challenge in the senior men category, having recently both competed in Luxembourg. Beth Roberts and Megan Phillips spearhead the women.

Ryan Jenkins, Stephen Jenkins and Simon Oyler are joining forces in the coaching group, while Wales are also sending two umpires to the tournament – Peter Higgins and Barrie Russ.

Louie Evans, fresh from his Blaenau Gwent Junior win, will partner Joseph Roberts, the Welsh No1 in his age, in the Cadet Boys. Lara Whitton and Grace Clement, who have both recently been in China, are selected as the Cadet Girls.

Anna Hursey, who recently beat the European Cadet number 1 in Fiji, teams up with Blaenau Gwent winner Beth Richards in the Junior Girls. Josh Stacey, a semi-finalist at the Belgian Para Open, links up with another player who trained in China recently, Benedict Watson in the Junior Boys team.

Leading Welsh women’s player Charlotte Carey lost to both the eventual winners of the Under 21 and Women’s singles at the ITTF Belgium Open last week. In the U21 singles, Carey progressed through qualification with two wins before facing Li Yu-Jhun in the last 32.

Here she lost a close battle, 11/8 in the 5th set, to the Chinese Taipei player, who is world ranked No 176. Li eventually went on to win the title.

Carey suffered a similar fate in the Women’s Singles. She won through qualification and then came up against French player Pauline Chasselin in the last 64. Ranked 69 places above her Welsh rival at No 175, Chasselin was expected to win, but was beaten 11/9 in the 7th and final set.

Next up was Saki Shibata, of Japan, who is ranked 30th in the world. Carey took the 1st end, but that was as good as it got for her. The Japanese won the next four ends and was unstoppable from there on in as she coasted to the title.


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