England’s Olympic athletes are making a move with five of the remaining Olympic shortlisted players jumping up the world rankings – including the four-time English National Champion; Paul Drinkhall, who nears a return to the world’s top 100.

Cleveland-born Drinkhall had a superb March, first claiming the Men’s Senior title at the English National Championships in Sheffield before performing excellently at the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Dortmund, Germany.

Drinkhall has risen 30 places in March to reach 106 in the current April world rankings – still short of his best of 88 in December 2010.

Meanwhile, 18-year-old Liam Pitchford rose to a new high world ranking of 147. After a season that has included several big wins – further victories including a double over Omar Assar helped the Derbyshire youngster to reach a new high.

There was also a boost for Daniel Reed who rose from 259th to 233rd after his participation in the World Team Table Tennis Championships.

In the women’s rankings there was a mix of fortunes with Joanna Parker and Naomi Owen rising places while Kelly Sibley and Na Liu dropped a few places between them.

These rankings give extra hope to the English players heading to the European Olympic Qualification Tournament in Luxembourg in just over a week’s time where they will hope to qualify by right for the London 2012 Games.

The full world ranking list for the Olympic Shortlisted athletes can be seen below:

Men’s Ranking: Name: Change: Women’s Ranking: Name: Change:
106 Paul Drinkhall + 30 136 Joanna Parker + 6
130 Andrew Baggaley – 5 168 Kelly Sibley – 7
147 Liam Pitchford + 38 235 Na Liu (NIR) – 9
233 Daniel Reed + 26 318 Naomi Owen (WAL) + 27
251 Darius Knight – 6
265 Gavin Rumgay (SCO) – 35