British Number 1 and Triple European Champion Paul Drinkhall Signs for Barrow TTC
At 20 years of age, Paul is regarded around the World as one of the game’s future stars and is listed as one of the Telegraphs “Ten to Watch for London 2012”. During Paul’s relatively short career, he has won 3 European Junior Gold Medals, 33 National titles and has been runner-up in the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year twice. More recently, Paul won the Under-21 China Open which is an amazing feat considering the stronghold China has on table tennis.
On the signing, Barrow Table Tennis Manager Tristran Swan said in disbelief, “Who would have believed that someone of Paul Drinkhall’s calibre would be playing for Barrow Table Tennis Club? To have the England Number 1 playing alongside the Scottish Number 1 (Gavin Rumgay) and England Number 3 (Darius Knight) just beggars belief. I mean, to put this into perspective, on paper, this makes Barrow better than the England team!”
Tristran went on to say, “I really can’t see Paul losing any games. The hard part will be getting him to the venue, but that is also true of Gavin and Darius. These guys are professional players with tight schedules as they train and play all around the world and we have to work around that. For example, the first British League weekend clashes with the final rounds of the European Championships in Ostrava (Czech Republic). We have flights booked in case these guys don’t get that far (to the quarter-finals) in the competition so they can play for us. Obviously we can’t bank on them being there, so we have a squad of players that will also be making the journey, making them as valuable as the star players. Saying that, within the team these guys aren’t seen as stars; we’re all very close.”
Prior to leaving England for this year’s China Open, Paul said “I do believe Barrow can win the league. First reason being the standard of the players in the team: from the top of the team to the bottom of the team [it’s] strong, which is important, and also we have international experience which should favour us in the close matches.”
But it’s not all about winning for Paul: “the Team are all friends and I think it will be a great atmosphere, therefore the weekends away will be fun and that is very important.”
You can find out more about Paul Drinkhall on his player profile – Paul Drinkhall’s Player Profile.