Another Commonwealth medal for Walker but Worksop star is still disappointed with 2018 Games

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 15:  Samuel Walker of England looks on against Sharath Achanta of India in their Men's Singles Bronze Medal Match during Table Tennis on day 11 of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Oxenford Studios on April 15, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 15: Samuel Walker of England looks on against Sharath Achanta of India in their Men's Singles Bronze Medal Match during Table Tennis on day 11 of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Oxenford Studios on April 15, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Sam Walker might have added to his Commonwealth medal collection but he looks back on the 2018 Gold Coast Games with disappointment.

The Worksop table tennis star won team bronze with the England squad in Australia.

However, world number 96 Walker was unable to add to that medal thanks to defeat in the singles bronze medal match and in two doubles quarter-finals in week two.

Having beaten both Antoine Bernadet of Canada and Northern Ireland’s Paul McCreery 4-0 in the early rounds of the singles, Walker produced his best display to sink world No 46 Sathiyan Gnanasekaran of India 4-0 in the quarters.

A 4-0 defeat to eventual champion Gao Ning of Singapore in the semi-finals was followed by another loss to an experienced opponent in the bronze play-off, India’s Sharath Achanta winning 4-1

In the men’s doubles, Walker and David McBeath started with a commanding victory over Terry Su and Devesh Hukmani of Belize and then overcame Scotland’s Craig Howieson and Gavin Rumgay.

However, they were eliminated in the quarter-finals by number one seeds and eventual silver medallists Sharath Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran of India, going down 3-0.

Walker also played in the mixed doubles alongside 16-year-old Denise Payet, beating Javen Choong and Karen Lyne of Malaysia 3-1 in the last 16 and bowing out in the quarter-finals 3-0 to eventual champions Gao Ning and Yu Mengyu of Singapore.

While Walker acknowledged there was a positive to take from his second Commonwealths in the form of the team medal, he wanted much more personally.

The former Redlands pupil said: “For the squad as a whole it’s been quite good but for me it’s been a bit disappointing.

“We wanted the gold in the team but we only got the bronze, which was hard.

“In the doubles I lost in two quarter-finals and now I’ve lost in the bronze medal match, so it’s been quite hard for me.

“In the singles I know I got further than my ranking, but I wanted to win it. Hopefully next time it will be better. I’ve just got to learn from the whole experience and hopefully in four years’ time I can do a lot better.”