Andrew Baggaley retained his World Championship of Ping Pong title in dramatic style at Alexandra Palace last night.

The England No 3 from Milton Keynes defeated three-times previous winner Maxim Shmyrev of Russia in a pulsating five-game encounter in front of the Sky TV cameras.

Having lost the first game 15-13, Baggaley raced back to level 15-5 in the second. Two sudden-death games followed, Shmyrev taking the first 15-14 and then missing a championship point as Baggaley levelled again, 15-14 in the fourth.

The final game ebbed and flowed before Baggaley pulled away to take it 15-11 and win the $20,000 top prize.

Afterwards, the 32-year-old player said: “I can’t believe it. He’s a phenomenal player, an absolutely outrageously good player. I knew I had to play inspirational stuff to beat him.

“I thought I was gone and that Maxim had it, to be honest. But I just kept my composure – I don’t know how I did it. I just thank God for this special moment.”

Baggaley had dropped only one game on his way to the final and was particularly dominant from the last 16 onwards, beating Paul McCreery of Northern Ireland 15-9, 15-9, Richard Gonzalez (PHI) 15-8, 15-12 in the last eight and fellow Englishman Andrew Rushton 15-5, 15-13, 15-7 in the semi-finals as the format changed to best-of-five.

If you enjoyed the action at Alexandra Palace last night, don’t forget you can still snap up tickets for our Senior National Championships in March. Click here to buy tickets

Andrew Baggaley with the trophy
Andrew Baggaley with the trophy