`

Worksop star Walker ready to take on the world’s best

Sam Walker in action.
Sam Walker in action.

Worksop Olympian table tennis star Sam Walker will take on the best in the world on home soil when the Team World Cup comes to London next month.

Walker will step out in front of thousands of spectators at the iconic Copper Box Arena on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, from February 22nd-25th.

The tournament brings together the six continental championship-winning teams, plus the best finishers from the 2016 World Team Championships.

England qualified by rights as bronze medallists at the latter.

Walker, 22, is named in the England squad alongside Liam Pitchford, Paul Drinkhall, David McBeath and Tom Jarvis, and they could be drawn against the likes of China or Germany, the top two ranked teams in the world.

There is also the possibility of a rematch against France, who they beat in the quarter-finals to win that bronze in Malaysia, or against Japan, who beat them in the semi-finals.

Completing the 12 teams to qualify are Sweden, South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, USA, Egypt and Brazil.

They will be drawn in groups of three, with the top two going into the quarter-finals.

The World Cup will kick off a busy period for Walker, who then heads into an England European Championships match against Bosnia-Herzegovina on February 27th, followed by the PG Mutual National Championships from March 2nd-4th, both also at the Copper Box Arena.

He is waiting to hear whether he will be selected for the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April.