Drinkhall taking consolation from doubles gold, after early singles exit

PAUL Drinkhall has found it hard to get over the disappointment of missing out on a singles medal at the Commonwealth Games '“ gold in the men's doubles should ease the pain.

Paul Drinkhall.
Paul Drinkhall.

The Middlesbrough table tennis ace was seeded fifth in the singles and was considered a strong contender for a medal only to fall in the last 16.

He had already won bronze in the team event, but Drinkhall wanted more than that, and he got it alongside partner Liam Pitchford.

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They reached the final of the men’s doubles where they took on Indian duo Sharath Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, racing through the first set.

After being pegged back to trail 2-1, they then produced their best table tennis to clinch gold, 11-5, 10-12, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8.

And Drinkhall revealed afterwards that doubles gold would go some way to easing the singles frustration.

He said: “It’s a fantastic achievement. From a very young age you watch big events like this. We were planning on coming here and winning a lot of medals and to get the gold around our neck is great.

“We would have wanted it before now but that happens everybody has had a great tournament and it’s great to get ours now.

“In the singles it wasn’t the result I wanted which was very disappointing but we went onto the doubles shortly after and managed to pull through that. From that moment I’ve just tried to stay focused and get the gold and that’s happened now so I can be very happy with this and put the singles to back of my mind for a bit longer.”

This was Drinkhall’s second Commonwealth title, having won the mixed doubles in Glasgow four years ago.

And while the singles slip-up prevented him from winning three medals at these Games, the 28-year-old has vowed to learn from the experience.

He added: “I think I’ve had a good tournament and played very well.

“I obviously had a lapse in my singles, more than a lapse, and that cost me but those things happen in sport but I’ve got to work on those to try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

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