Paul Drinkhall lost 2-4 to Carlos Machado, but will still progress through to the main draw on count-back.

Entering his final group stage game of the 2016 Rio Olympic Qualifiers, Paul Drinkhall was top of his group with two wins from two matches.

His opponent was the Spanish Carlos Machado, world ranked #98. The pair had previously met in the same competition, but for the London 2012 Olympic Qualifiers and it was Machado who took the spoils that day, 4-2.

In a similar fashion to Paul’s first group stage game against Florent Lambient, Paul got off to a slow start.

The 2016 English National Champion was unable to capitalize on three game points in the first game, losing 10-12. And in the second game he lost 7-11.

Paul turned the match around in the third and fourth sets, taking them 13-11 and 11-4 respectively, to tie the match level at 2-2.

However, he was not able to build upon the momentum and his Spanish opponent took full advantage, claiming the final two games 8-11 and 6-11.

It means that there is a three-way tie in group 11, with Paul Drinkhall, Carlos Machado and Florent Lambiet all winning 2 out of 3 of their group stage games.

On count-back, it is Lambiet who finishes top, Machado second and Drinkhall third.

Paul Drinkhall will have to face one of the top 16 seeds in the next stage of the competition. He cannot play Liam Pitchford, as they are from the same country and he also cannot face Tiago Apolonia, as Tiago is in the same pot as Liam.

For the full draw see the attachment below.

Update – tomorrows matches

Liam Pitchford will face Elia Schmid at 12.30pm tomorrow.

Paul Drinkhall will face Simon Gauzy at 1.30pm tomorrow.

Full Results