28th Oct, 2016

Disappointment for Kelly Sibley at World Team table tennis tournament

Steve Carpenter 10th Mar, 2016 Updated: 13 hours ago

KELLY Sibley won nine out of 11 matches but the World Team Championships ended in disappointnent as England failed to win promotion after finishing 33rd in Kuala Lumpur.

The Leamington ace led a squad also featuring Tin-Tin Ho and Karina Le Fevre to wins over Turkey (3-1), Belgium (3-1), New Zealand (3-0) and Canada (3-1) in their first four matches in the second division group stage.

England were then beaten 3-1 by the division’s top seeds Serbia in the final group match, with Ho picking up England’s point.

This set up a tie against Puerto Rico in the first play-off round and, despite Sibley’s two victories, England were beaten 3-2.

Sibley, who is ranked number 174 in the world, at least signed off in style by claiming a second win against world number 100 Adriana Diaz.

“From a personal point of view, I was quite happy with my performances and how I played,” said Sibley.

“I had a good couple of wins, especially beating the girl from Puerto Rico, who’s top 100, but I’m disappointed we couldn’t carry on through the tournament and challenge for that promotion place.

“We knew it was going to be tough but as a team we all fought really hard and gave it our best and couldn’t do any more than we did.”

Sibley was also able to support the men’s team of Liam Pitchford, Paul Drinkhall and Sam Walker as they delivered England’s first World Championships medal since 1983.

The men took home bronze after reaching the semi-finals, where they lost 3-1 to Japan but it followed a last-gasp 3-2 win over France in the quarter-finals, sealed 13-11 in the deciding set by Drinkhall.

“It’s been unbelievable,” she said. “They deserve it because they’ve put in all the hard work but it’s absolutely amazing, surreal really.

“To be here and watch it and celebrate with them has been great, especially after the France match. For Paul to take it 13-11 was fantastic. It was nerve-wracking but so exciting.”

Japan went on to face China in the final.