Paul Drinkhall has returned to the top 100 players in the world rankings for the first time since December 2010 when he reached a personal best of 88th after bursting onto the international scene.
Drinkhall’s recent efforts at the European Olympic Qualification Tournament in Luxembourg, including victories over Andrej Gacina (CRO, 58) and Yaroslav Zhmudenko (UKR, 98), have moved him up to 97th in the May world rankings – a rise of nine places.
Drinkhall, 22, first reached the top 100 in March 2010 but dropped as low as 161st in July 2010. His rise back up the rankings coincides with the arrival of the Olympic Games to London and his teammates progress alongside him in the same period.
English number 1, Liam Pitchford, has reached a new personal best of 130th after similar good performances in Europe. Using his Bundesliga experience to guide him, Pitchford beat Carlos Machado (ESP, 84) in Luxembourg as he continues his rise up the rankings. Twelve months ago, the Derbyshire youngster was 260th in the world – exactly double that of his ranking now, just one year later.
For the other Olympic listed players left in contention there was a slight drop from Andrew Baggaley to 139th – meaning he drops below Pitchford for the first time, while Daniel Reed, Darius Knight and Scotsman Gavin Rumgay had small boosts in their rankings.
In the women’s world rankings Joanna Parker moved back up to 129th after her victories in the Qualification campaign, including those against Yana Noskova (RUS, 82) and Katarzyna Grzybowska (POL, 101).
Kelly Sibley’s hip injury meant that she could not rise up the rankings while there were also nominal drops for Irish girl Na Liu and Welsh girl Naomi Owen who remain in contention for the Olympics.
Meanwhile, French Open Cadet Champion Tin-Tin Ho, has become the third-highest ranked English woman after rising 213 places to 457th in the world – all at just 13-years-old.
Tin-Tin, who defeated the cadet world number 1 en-route to her title has also risen 17 places to 18th in the world under 15 rankings.
She’s not the only player to achieve great success in the recent world ranking as both Maria Tsaptsinos and Helshan Weerasinghe have jumped up the rankings with the English Cadet squad looking stronger every month.
Weerasinghe broke the world top 50 by reaching 48th from his previous position of 55. Tsaptsinos has cemented her place in the top 100 by moving up 10 places from 96th to 86th.
|Men’s Rankings||Name:||Change:||Women’s Ranking||Name:||Change:|
|97||Paul Drinkhall||+ 9||129||Joanna Parker||+ 7|
|130||Liam Pitchford||+ 17||176||Kelly Sibley||– 8|
|139||Andrew Baggaley||– 9||244||Na Liu (NIR)||– 9|
|232||Daniel Reed||+ 1||322||Naomi Owen (WAL)||– 4|
|243||Gavin Rumgay (SCO)||+ 22|
|245||Darius Knight||+ 6|