Worksop’s Sam Walker to lead England team in India

Sam Walker in action in the national Under 21 singles at Redbridge (Pic: Alan Man)
Sam Walker in action in the national Under 21 singles at Redbridge (Pic: Alan Man)

Worksop’s Sam Walker will spearhead the English table tennis assault on the Commonwealth Championships in India.

The 20-year-old Commonwealth Games silver medallist is part of an eight-strong contingent selected to travel to Surat for the competition in December.

But before that, he’s got the European Championships to focus on, beginning in Russia on 25th September.

A former Valley student, Walker lives in Germany and plays full-time for ASV Grünwettersbach.

He’s excited about the prospect of wearing his country’s colours again.

“I’m really looking forward to the Euro champs, it’ll be the first time I’ve worn the England shirt again since the Euros last year,” he said.

“Hopefully I can put in a good performance and cement my place in the team.

“I’m aiming to reach the main draw of the singles and push on as far as I can. “

The Commonwealth Championships has been kind to Walker in the past, with a doubles silver and team bronze placed around his neck.

This year he’ll also bear the responsibility of leading the England team.

He said: “It will be great to lead a young team in India.

“The last time I was there I was pretty successful, winning a silver and bronze.

“This year I hope I can go one better than the silver and also take a medal in the singles.”

He will be joined in Surat by David McBeath, Helshan Weerasinghe and Tom Jarvis – the latter two competed at the European Youth Championships in Bratislava in July.

The women’s squad comprises Commonwealth Games mixed doubles silver medallist Tin-Tin Ho and her Glasgow 2014 team-mate Karina Le Fevre, plus Maria Tsaptsinos and Lois Peake.

Simon Mills, Table Tennis England’s head of coaching and performance, said: “These young players have earned the right to represent England through their recent performances.

“This is a big opportunity for them to continue their learning curves by competing at a prestigious international event, which is an important building block towards our objective to get our players to the top of the world game.”

The squad will be hoping to improve on England’s medal haul at the last Commonwealth Championships in Delhi in 2013, when they won three silvers and two bronzes.