Drinkhalls enjoy their champagne moment

Husband and wife team Paul and Joanna Joanna Drinkhall won Commonwealth Games gold in the all-English mixed doubles table tennis final as they beat Liam Pitchford and Tin-Tin Ho 3-2.

Middlesbrough's Joanna and Paul Drinkhall celebrate winning gold in the table tennis mixed doubles.
Middlesbrough's Joanna and Paul Drinkhall celebrate winning gold in the table tennis mixed doubles.

The Drinkhalls, from Middlesbrough and who train in Sheffield, claimed the first game 11-7 before stretching their lead with a comfortable 11-3 win in the second.

Ho and Pitchford came back in game three, which they took 11-5 in rapid fashion.

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Ho, 15, is the youngest member of the England team but was not fazed by an appearance in the final, as along with Pitchford she pushed the favourites in game four and forced a decider.

Tied at 10-10 in the fourth, the match was in the balance before Paul Drinkhall missed a smash and Ho and Pitchford levelled the match at 2-2.

They then claimed first blood in game five but a pumped-up Paul Drinkhall claimed the next point before a missed shot put the married pair ahead.

A 2-1 lead quickly translated to a 5-1 advantage, with the Drinkhalls wrapping up victory by an 11-5 margin in the fifth.

The gold added to the bronze medal won by Danny Reed and Kelly Sibley after they defeated Singapore’s Jian Zhan and Tianwei Feng 3-1.

“It’s great for English table tennis, it’s great to play our team-mates, it’s great to beat Singapore,” said Drinkhall after the win.

“I came for four medals, got two, but one of them is gold.

“We’ll celebrate with a few bottles of champagne.”