Sophie Chiang claims National Cup crown
Young table tennis star adds to title collection
Sophie Chiang added to her list of national table tennis titles as she beat the best young players in the country to win the Under-12 Girls’ National Cup.
The Fulbourn youngster was one of 10 players invited to the event by virtue of being one of the top players in the national rankings.
Seeded No 1, she did not disappoint, winning every match at the round-robin tournament in Preston and dropping only one set, to third seed Chloe Ambridge.
It meant Chiang added to the Under-11 and Under-12 National Championship titles she won last season.
The 11-year-old Perse School student said: “I was a bit nervous having to play everyone – there was a bit of pressure.
“It was tough because there were new people who I hadn’t played before, but it was fun. I think I’ve definitely improved this season.”
Also competing at the event was former Coleridge Community College student Sam Chesterman, who was seeded eighth in the Cadet Boys’ National Cup.
He won five matches to finish seventh, although it was close as he had the same number of wins as fourth place and was only one win behind bronze medallist Jonny Heslop.
Chesterman, who now attends the Table Tennis England National Talent Academy at Ackworth School in Yorkshire, finished strongly with 4-3 wins over fifth seed Joe Cope (11-8, 12-10, 9-11, 14-12, 2-11, 8-11, 11-7) and fourth seed Louis Price (6-11, 7-11, 12-10, 9-11, 14-12, 11-9, 11-8).
“It was a mixed weekend which ended on a high, winning my last two matches in the seventh,” said 14-year-old Chesterman.
“We play these guys maybe about four times a year but in separate tournaments, but you have to play them all here, so it’s tough. You have to play your best in every match.”