Drinkhall wins 5th singles title

The taste of victory is sweet – just ask Paul Drinkhall, who, after a three-year hiatus, beaten each time by Liam Pitchford, is now back as reigning champion.

The PG Mutual National Championships in Hatfield on Sunday was an important event. Not only was it time for celebration for Paul Drinkhall (winning the Guernsey Trophy and the men’s doubles title with partner Liam Pitchford) and for the other big winner of the day Tin-Tin Ho (who won the women’s singles, the women’s doubles with partner Maria Tsaptsinos and the mixed doubles with partner Sam Walker), but it was also widely televised.

Table tennis is incredibly popular as a sport in the UK, but gets pitifully little airtime, so when the championships in Hatfield this weekend were televised by ITV4 who recorded three hours of the competition, taking in the two singles finals and the men’s doubles, that was a big deal.

Drinkhall’s singles championship nemesis, fellow team member Liam Pitchford, was sent packing by Sam Walker in the semifinals, but he was no match for Drinkhall in the final who beat him 4-2.

“It’s great to win, obviously after three years and for a fifth time. It’s just as good, if not better than the others, to get it back. Hopefully I can get a few more in the future,” Drinkhall said after the match.

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