Sam Walker disconsolate after table tennis exit

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Sam Walker disconsolate after table tennis exit
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Sam Walker cut a disconsolate figure as his Commonwealth Games came to an end at the quarter-final stage of the table tennis men’s singles.

Walker was beaten 4-2 (11-5, 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 10-12, 11-9) by India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran to dash hopes of an all-English semi-final against Paul Drinkhall.

The 27-year-old from Worksop was looking to add to the bronze won in the team event, but was eventually well-beaten by Gnanasekaran, who recovered from a wobble at 3-0 and ward off Walker’s comeback.

It was a case of what might have been for Walker, who felt like he did not bring his best game to the table.

“I don’t really know what to say,” said Walker.

“I don’t think I played particularly well but got myself back in the match, into a position to get back to 3-3 and then I was probably the favourite if I got back to 3-3.

“[I had] bad tactics from the beginning, I was a bit slow on my feet. There’s no excuse for that, it’s just disappointing.”

Walker had breezed past Jeremy Hazin of Canada 4-0 in the round of 16, but could not translate his form into the weekend.

The Sutton in Ashfield-born player had said there was no pressure on him heading into the last eight, but there was no hiding his disappointment at his exit.

“I capitalised it in the fifth set, without him missing those I had no chance of coming back into the game,” added Walker.

“It doesn’t really matter does it? I lost anyway, whether it’s 4-0, 4-1, 4-2, it doesn’t matter.”

This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, comprises of over 400 athletes, all vying for medal success.

There was also disappointment for doubles pairs Tin-Tin Ho and Maria Tsaptinos and Charlotte Bardsley and Emily Bolton, who both exited the women’s doubles.

"Obviously they are a really good pair," said Bolton. "They’ve probably played together for a long time and it was really difficult.

“It is what it is and that’s just the way the draw is sometimes. We tried our best to put our game onto them but they are strong and they had an answer to everything we threw at them.

“I’ve really enjoyed the Games. It has been a really nice atmosphere every day watching matches on the bench with the girls or in the stands.

However, there was victory for Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford who both progressed to the semi-finals of the men’s singles.

The pair then teamed up to book themselves a place in the final of the men’s doubles, with a 3-1 win against Singapore’s Zhe Yu Chew and Shao Feng Poh.

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