Aerospace company Factory of the Future AMRC lifted the Corporate Table Tennis title at the Copper Box Arena thanks to a 3-1 victory over Airbus DS.
A total of 15 teams featuring 60 players competed at the final stages of the tournament the day after the ITTF Team World Cup had finished at the same venue on London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Last year’s champions, procurement experts AP-Solut Group, beat SmartOdds without dropping a set in the first quarter-final, while new entrants Airbus DS (Defence & Space), based out of Stevenage, were too strong for last year’s runners-up Barclays.
Another aerospace company, AMRC with Boeing, were too strong for retail giants Superdrug with English top-20 player Victor Guang Shi winning both his singles and doubles matches.
Sixteen-Plus from Peterbrough, led by Diccon Gray, managed a surprise clean sweep against a Two Circles team including ex-England international Tim Yarnall, to complete the semi-final line up.
Both semi-finals were incredibly tight affairs. The exciting match format of player 1 singles, p2&p3 doubles, p1&p3 doubles and then player 2 singles, means that a draw can occur at 2-2 all. In this situation it is left to player 3, usually the weakest singles player, to play a tie-break shootout set, a single set to 11 against their opposite number.
Both semi-finals reached this stage, with Victor winning his matches for AMRC and Adam Nutland winning his matches for Airbus, but the AP-Solut and Sixteen Plus teams fought back taking the two other matches.
Matt Bacon, for AMRC, starred in the tie-break shootout, winning under incredible pressure against Sixteen Plus’s Julian Tee. Luke Walsh was the star of the show for Airbus, coming through against Peter Ives.
The final saw two top-20 ranked players play each other for the first time with Victor Guang Shi against Adam Nutland. At 1-1 and with set points in the third for Adam, Victor managed to comeback to win 7-11, 11-3, 14-12, 11-4.
With Matt Bacon and Minglun Dai for AMRC clinching a close doubles against Chris D’Aguiar and Luke Walsh to move 2-0, the match and the championship was sealed when Minglun Dai won the player 2 singles against Chris.