TABLE TENNIS: LEAMINGTON’S Kelly Sibley is aiming to revive memories of London 2012 when England take on the world’s best players at the Team World Cup next month.
Sibley will step out in front of thousands of spectators at iconic ‘Box That Rocks’ on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, from February 22-25.
The tournament brings together the six continental championship-winning teams, plus the best finishers from the 2016 World Team Championships.
England have a host-nation place and will be among the underdogs, but Sibley believes they could still cause some upsets.
“It’s fantastic to be playing in such a huge event as the Team World Cup on home soil,” said the five-time national women’s singles champion.
“It brings back memories of the London 2012 Olympics, even more so because it’s being held at the Copper Box on the Olympic Park.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for us. We’ll be going into the competition as one of the underdogs and whoever we get to play in the draw is going to be tough. We’re going to have to produce some high-level table tennis to get close to them, because they are the top players in the world.”
Sibley has been named in the England squad alongside Tin-Tin Ho, Maria Tsaptsinos, Denise Payet and Charlotte Bardsley.
England could be drawn against the likes of China or Japan, the top two ranked teams in the world.
The other teams to qualify are Singapore, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Romania, North Korea, USA, Brazil, Egypt and Australia.
They will be drawn in groups of three, with the top two going into the quarter-finals.