Table tennis world cup awaits Worksop’s Sam Walker

Worksop Wanderers v Croat Crusaders.'England's no. 3, Sam Walker in action at the Redlands Table Tennis Centre in Worksop on Saturday.
Worksop Wanderers v Croat Crusaders.'England's no. 3, Sam Walker in action at the Redlands Table Tennis Centre in Worksop on Saturday.

Sam Walker has been named in a full-strength England team for the ZEN-NOH ITTF Team World Cup.

The Worksop athlete will compete alongside Liam Pitchford, Paul Drinkhall and Tom Jarvis at the event in Tokyo from November 6 to 10.

The competition is the test event for the Olympic table tennis tournament and will be in the same venue as will be used in 2020, the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

England will be hoping to match their brilliant performance on home soil in last year’s competition, when, backed by a vocal crowd at the Copper Box Arena on London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, they clinched bronze medals.

They were beaten in the semi-finals by Japan, who went on to be defeated in the final by China – who won both men’s and women’s competitions in London.

China will again be overwhelming favourites, but England, who qualified thanks to their quarter-final finish at the 2018 World Team Championships, have beaten many of the other competing nations in recent years.

The full line-up of qualifying nations is: China (Asia champions), Nigeria (Africa champions), Germany (Europe champions), Brazil (Pan Am champions), Australia (Oceania champions), Japan (hosts), USA (Pan Am runners-up), plus the World team Championship qualifiers South Korea, Sweden, England, Austria and Chinese Taipei.