Sam Walker celebrates after securing Team GB place for Rio Olympics

Worksop's Sam Walker (Pic: Alex Lomaev)
Worksop's Sam Walker (Pic: Alex Lomaev)

Worksop table tennis star Sam Walker is celebrating after securing his Team GB place at the Rio Olympics.

The British Olympic Association (BOA) confirmed Walker’s selection on Thursday.

Walker will compete in the team event alongside Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford – after both were officially selected for the individual competition earlier this month.

At 21, Walker will be the youngest of the three table tennis athletes selected for Rio 2016 but has experience of competition at the top level.

Walker said: “It’s a dream come true. It’s been one of my dreams since I started playing to represent Team GB at the Olympic Games and to get it so early in my career is incredible. I’m looking forward to it.

“The Worlds gave us confidence and belief – we did believe we could get those sort of results but doing it was a different story.

“It showed us and everyone else that Great Britain are a team to be feared and are ready to challenge for medals in big competitions.”

In 2014 he won men’s team silver at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and added World Championship team bronze to his collection in 2016, competing alongside Drinkhall and Pitchford at both events.

In addition to Walker’s selection, Tom Jarvis has been named as the Team GB reserve in the team event.

Mark England, Team GB’s Chef de Mission for Rio 2016, said: “I want to congratulate Sam on being selected for his first Olympic Games – a huge honour for any athlete.

“Sam already has medals to his name at some of the biggest tournaments in the world and, along with Liam and Paul, represent a strong team heading to Rio de Janeiro.

“It’s great that we have qualified places in the individual and team table tennis events at Rio 2016 and I’m sure Sam will play a crucial part in the team’s efforts this summer.”