Some of the best young players in the country are bidding to finish top of the class at the Sainsbury’s School Games.
The competition returns to Manchester, last year’s host city, from September 4 to 6. More than 80 players will compete in team and individual events.
They will represent eight teams – five from England (Midlands, North East, North West, South East and South West), plus Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Among the returning champions, Tin-Tin Ho will be looking to retain the girls’ singles title and also spearheads an impressive-looking South East team who are going for a repeat of the team victory.
The Commonwealth Games silver medallist from Paddington will have three new team-mates this year as she lines up alongside Denise Payet, Kate Cheer and Isabelle Joubeily.
In the singles, one of the two bronze medallists from last year, Emily Bolton, will again be competing in this year’s event, at the Manchester Regional Tennis Centre.
In the boys’ events, Alex Ramsden is the only survivor of last year’s winning Midlands team and is joined by William Hornsey, Matthew Leete and Nathan Butler.
Ramsden will also be aiming to go one better in the singles, having lost in last year’s final to Tom Jarvis, who is not attending this time.
2014 bronze medallist Marcus Giles was scheduled to lead the South East challenge after Luke Savill pulled out due to club commitments. But Giles was a late withdrawal and has been replaced by Liam Grant. The South East team also features Josh Bennett, Omar Khassal and Savill’s replacement, Shaquille Webb-Dixon.
Two of the three disability singles winners are also back to defend their titles. Indeed, in the wheelchair event, all four medallists from 2014 will be in Manchester again – champion Nicko Anderson (SE), runner-up Daniel Bullen (Midlands) and bronze medallists Megan Shackleton (NE) and Cellan Hall (Wales).
The other champion to return is Wales’ Ashley Wray, who last year claimed the learning disability title. Silver medallist Archie Taylor (Midlands) and one of the two bronze winners, Jordan McGarry (NW), will again be among Wray’s rivals.
Standing disability champion Lawrence John is not defending his crown, but silver medallist Billy Shilton (SW) is there, as is Alex Bland (NE), who finished joint third.
Wray and Hall will be helping Wales to go for victory again in the disability team event, with Tam Eastwood completing their line-up in place of John.
You will be able to watch the action from Manchester via the School Games website, which will feature live streaming of table 1.
To keep up to date with the latest results from Manchester, follow us on Twitter at @TableTennisEng – look out for the hashtag #SSGtabletennis – or visit our website.
Table tennis is one of 12 sports being played in Manchester. To keep in touch with the other sports follow @_SchoolGames and use the hashtag #2015SSG or visit Facebook.com/SchoolGames