Alan Cooke provides Joanna Parker with some words of wisdom

Playing in the Championships Division at the Liebherr 2010 Table Tennis Championships for the first time in many many years, the England Womens Team started their group with a win over Austria. Austria are without their no 1, Liu Jia but are still a force to be reckoned with.

First up was Joanna Parker against the highest ranked of the Austrian players here, Li Qiangbing, the world no 47. Joanna was point for point all the way in each game to 8-8 or 9-9  but the last two points always went to the Austrian. One nil for Austria. We then found out all the player order games that were being played by both sides. Match 2 was the Austrian No 3 against the English No 3, Sarah Kainz against Hannah Hicks. This probably was the Austrians undoing as it meant Kainz, who never looked comfortable against chop, had to face both Hannah and Joanna Parker, after an easy first game Hannah had to fight hard but won the second and fourth games game 9, dropping only the third game of the match. Score 1-1

Next up the key match of the contest, Kelly Sibley the England no 2 playing C matched against the Austrian No 2, Martina Petzner, playing Z. Kelly dominated the first two games to race to a 2-0 lead but the winning post loomed and things got much tighter both in the third game which went 12-10 to the Austrian and in the fourth game which was taken by Kelly also 12-10. England lead 2-1.

Fairly predictably that led to a 3-2 victory for England, Li Qiangbing was just too good for Hannah Hicks who acquitted herself well against such a high ranked player but in the fifth match Joanna’s defence and attack off a loose ball was far to good for Sarah Kainz and England started their campaign in the top flight with a flourish which will give the players real confidence as they continue on in the group.

The Womens next match is first thing tomorrow morning, 7 AM UK time, against Italy

For the ITTF view of the match click here


Austria 2 England 3

LI QIANGBING beat PARKER Joanna    11-8, 11-9, 12-10
KAINZ Sarah lost to HICKS Hannah    6-11, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11
PETZNER Martina  lost to SIBLEY Kelly  4-11, 6-11, 12-10, 10-12
LI QIANGBING beat HICKS Hannah    11-7, 11-6, 11-6
KAINZ Sarah  lost to  PARKER Joanna   3-11, 6-11, 6-11

Photo: Hannah Hicks a superb first match win over Sarah Kainz which setup the team match for England – courtesy ITTF