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By Josh Graham at the NEC, Birmingham
NOTTINGHAM student Tin-Tin Ho denied claims that Wales wanted it more after they dumped England out of the women’s team table tennis in the Commonwealth Games quarter-final.
Ho is chasing her fourth Games medal but will have to wait for further disciplines after a 3-0 defeat to their British rivals at Birmingham’s NEC.
The 23-year-old Londoner, who studies medicine at the University of Nottingham, lost her singles 3-1 to Charlotte Clarey and could not hide her disappointment at the outcome having picked up bronze in this event on the Gold Coast four years ago.
Ho said: “It just wasn’t our day. We fought hard but it wasn’t good enough today. I think we wanted it equally and we fought all the way until the end, there was nothing more we could have done.”
While Ho’s teammate Maria Tsaptsinos blamed the emotional hangover of England’s dramatic victory over Nigeria for their last-eight thrashing.
Reading’s Tsaptsinos, 25, was also part of the 2018 side but failed to guarantee another medal match as England went down to the team seeded two places below them.
Earlier on Saturday, England nearly crashed out in the group stage as a titanic tussle with Nigeria went right down to the wire before Charlotte Bardsley held her nerve in the decisive singles to ensure they progressed.
Tsaptsinos said: “It was very difficult, we probably had the hardest draw of the Commonwealth Games but well played to Wales, they played really well and got through their group first.
“We had the hardest group coming in as 12th seeds after winning bronze in 2018 which was really difficult.
“We had the No.1 seeds Singapore in our group and then Nigeria who were probably the hardest of the other lot to beat.
“And we put it all out against them this morning and I think there was nothing left in the tank to be honest. It was really hard - I've had a headache all day!
“100 percent [there was an emotional hangover after Nigeria] and that’s not saying Wales didn’t play unbelievably, they did and you can only beat the person that is put in front of you at the end of the day and they beat us, so congrats.”
Tsaptsinos enjoyed playing in front of a home crowd even though Wales’ pocket of boisterous support drowned out the English faithful as it became one-way traffic on the table.
After losing the doubles 3-1 with Bardsley before failing to keep the match going with an 11-8 11-9 11-4 singles defeat to Wales’ 16-year-old sensation Anna Hursey, Tsaptsinos is turning her attention to the events to come with plenty still to play for, including in the women’s doubles alongside Ho.
She added: “The crowd has been absolutely unbelievable. I can't fault them at all, I've got some friends and family up there. It’s really nice to play here.
“I’m going to regroup, get some rest - I don’t think I’ve slept in about four days! Then we go again for mixed, singles and doubles.
“Medals are always the target. I’m with Tins [Tin-Tin Ho] in the women’s doubles, Sam Walker in the mixed doubles and singles obviously by myself!
“There are medal expectations but we will wait to see what the draw is and take it match by match but hopefully come out with some good results.”
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