Running out of fingers: 4-times National Champion Drinkhall is back on top

Paul Drinkhall has returned to the English number 1 spot after a successful couple of months on the international scene.

Despite narrowly missing out on Olympic qualification in both Luxembourg and Qatar, he picked up numerous big wins in the process meaning he could return to the top of the English rankings after a seven-month absence.

The Loftus-born 22-year-old had held the number 1 ranking since 2006 but Derbyshire’s Liam Pitchford overtook him during a quiet period for the four-times National Champion.

Now that he’s back on top, Drinkhall can look forward to joining the squad for the training camp in China on Tuesday evening in the build-up to representing Team GB at the Olympics as the men’s singles nomination for London 2012.

Teammate Andrew Baggaley has also leap-frogged both Daniel Reed and Darius Knight to become the new English number 3 in the May rankings. Reed stays in fourth place while Knight drops to fifth.

The top 3 women’s rankings stay the same although the main news is that injury-hit Kelly Sibley will not be travelling to China with the squad for the training camp.

Sibley will focus instead of regaining full fitness at home in the lead up to the Olympics, which are still over 50 days away.

She said: “I would have liked to have gone to China as it’s the best practice so I am disappointed. Obviously the physios are the experts so I trust their opinion.

It is recovering so it’s positive, it’s not like it’s getting worse but they feel it’s best not to go.”

In other rankings news 13-year-old Tin-Tin Ho is the new number 1 junior girl while Sam Walker and Helshan Weerasinghe continue as number 1s of the junior and cadet boys respectively.