27th May, 2017

Kelly Sibley targeting sixth title at PG Mutual National Championships

Steve Carpenter 17th Mar, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

KELLY Sibley aims to move to within one title of the all-time record-holder when she defends her PG Mutual National Championships crown in Hatfield this week.

The Leamington player has five women’s singles titles, putting her joint third in the hall of fame, behind Mary Wright on six and former European champion Jill Parker on seven.

Both champions will be at Hatfield to see whether Sibley can add to her haul and the 27-year-old is confident she can taste success again.

“Everybody wants to be national champion in whatever sport they compete in,” said Sibley, who won nine of her 11 matches at the recent World Team Championships.

“Even though I’ve won it before, I’m still hungrier than ever to retain my title and go on to win more.

“I didn’t realise until last year that having five titles put me joint third on the all-time list, so now I want to get the sixth and get into second place and keep going.

“I’m just going to focus on one match at a time and hopefully I can continue my positive form and confidence from the Worlds.”

Sibley’s main rivals at the event, which runs from March 18-20, are likely to be her England team-mates from the Worlds, Tin-Tin Ho – who she beat in last year’s final – and Karina Le Fevre, plus fellow England international Maria Tsaptsinos.

Sibley is thrilled that the latter stages of the championships will be televised live on ITV4 between 3pm and 6pm on Sunday March 20.

“I think it’s great we’ve got live TV,” she said. “I think we’ve had highlights before but we haven’t been on live. It’s fantastic and shows table tennis is going in the right direction.”