I’m proud of the team – Liam Pitchford leads England to bronze medal

England table tennis player Liam Pitchford admitted it was difficult to get up on Tuesday morning as he helped the men’s team seal a bronze medal against Nigeria.

England had looked destined for the final, but were narrowly beaten 3-2 by Singapore in Monday’s semi-final.

In a dominant performance the men’s team comfortably beat Nigeria 3-0, with Tom Jarvis and Paul Drinkhall winning their doubles game before Pitchford and Drinkhall won their singles matches.

Despite securing his ninth overall Commonwealth Games medal after a tight battle with Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna, Pitchford admitted there were “mixed emotions” about securing bronze.

“It’s not really what we came for, I’m sort of a bag of mixed emotions at the moment, last night was tough, I didn’t really sleep,” he said.

“I somehow had to get myself up for today and do it for the team. I can look back and be proud of myself that I actually did that, because I could have shied away and not stood up out there and not performed but I did it.

“I’m just proud because it gives me confidence going into the individual events that I’m still here and can beat the best guys in the tournament and I can do something.

“The support’s been amazing, not just from the team but for the spectators and everyone here, probably couldn’t have done it without them, especially today.

“It was hard to get up for this match and we just had to give it one big fight and we did that so obviously I’m proud of the team today.”

Pitchford now has the chance to go for gold in three more events, and believes his bronze-medal performance will spur him on.

He added: “[I’m feeling] a bit more confident now, especially after that I think hopefully yesterday was just a blip and obviously I know if I perform like that there’s chances.

“I just need to be playing like that every match and be that focused every match and try and keep it up somehow.”