Day 1, Sunday April 1st.

After a free session one, all the England teams were in action in session two to get their World Championships up and running.

The Girls National team of Emily Bates, Tin-Tin Ho, Vicky Smith and Emma Torkington got off to a great start with a 6-1 win against Estonia. The “one that got away” was the doubles when Tin-Tin and Emma lost 11-7 in the fifth. Emily, Vicky and Tin-Tin comfortably won two singles each.

The Boys National team of Igor Morais, Helshan Weerasinghe, Liam McTiernan and Adam Harrison had a much more difficult start when they lost 5-2 to a very strong Italian team. Igor registered a win against Maurizio Massarelli 11-6 in the fifth and Liam defeated Dario Loreto in four.

The Girls School team from Morpeth, London, of Harriet Taylor, Sayeeda Miah and Akashi Alam were just edged out 4-3 against a competent Israeli school team. Harriet defeated Nina Stepanets in three straight games, Sayeeda beat Silvia Dubinsky in three, whilst Harriet and Sayeeda also won the doubles three straight.

The Boys School team from Harefield Academy of Tyrone Wells, Mitchell Jones, Daniel Lewis and Evan Clancy had a comfortable 6-1 win against the Boys School team from Italy. Tyrone, Daniel and Mitchell won two games each, with the Italian team recording their only success in the doubles when Tyrone and Daniel lost a close encounter 11-5 in the fifth.

In session three, Harefield Academy followed up their bright start with a 7-0 win against the Boys School team from Greece, Tyrone, Mitchell and Daniel all winning two singles and Tyrone and Mitchell completing a clean sweep with a 3-0 win in the doubles.

The Boys National team’s difficult day continued with a match against a very competitive French National side and unfortunately went down 4-3. Igor defeated Leo Perrin in three and lost in four to Alexis Douin. Adam lost in four to Joe Seyfried and lost a close five-game match against Alexis, but the star of the show was Liam who defeated Leo in five and had a 3-0 win against Joe. Unfortunately, luck was against us in the doubles when Igor and Helshan lost 12-10 in the fifth against Alexis and Joe, to seal victory for France.

A disability section has been added to this competition for the first time and our team of Charles Sketchley and Sam Bell, can’t wait to get started. Under the watchful eye of N.P.C. Shaun Alvey, the boys joined company with the players from France, Italy and Bulgaria to take part in a training/coaching day to prepare them for their competitions which begin in earnest tomorrow.

John M. Blackband