Team GB suffered a final blow to their hopes of taking something from this ITTF Pro Tour event when both the mens’ and womens’ teams were beaten by a World All Stars team.
This wasn’t an all stars team in the true sense of the meaning – especially with so many world class players on hand. Nevertheless, this was a chance for the GB players to show the dwindling crowd at the ExCel Arena what they can look forward to next year.
It started positively when both Joanna Parker and Liam Pitchford opened up with success in the singles. But from then on it was the same old story. The tall and impressive form of Egyptian Omar Assar beat Paul Drinkhall while Kelly Sibley was comprehensively beaten by world No 142 Saki Tashiro.
It got worse with the partnership of Parker and Liu Na unable to get to grips with NG Wing Nam and Nadeen El-Dawlatly. Hopes rose for Liam Pitchford and Andrew Baggaley but they also went down to Tomas Tregler and Lee Sang Su.
Any slight chance the women had of levelling the scores in their match went out of the window when Saki Tashiro easily overcame team GB’s oldest player Liu Na.
Even a last gasp effort from Andrew Baggaley failed to pull something from this match when he lost in five games to the Egyptian Omar Assar to give the All Star men a well deserved win.