Paul Drinkhall and Kelly Sibley retained their respective men’s and women’s singles titles at the 2012 English National Table Tennis Championships held at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.
Drinkhall, now a four-times winner of the singles, successfully defended his title against the current English Number One, Liam Pitchford from Derbyshire.
Drinkhall, 22, won 4-1 (7-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-3, 11-3) against the 18-year-old who had previously beaten fellow Olympic hopefuls Andrew Baggaley (4-1) and Daniel Reed (4-0) in the earlier rounds.
Drinkhall and Pitchford will now look forward to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Luxembourg (April 11-15) where they will be joined by Andrew Baggaley in their pursuit of an Olympic place.
Sibley won her third women’s singles title to cap off a brilliant weekend for the girl from Leamington Spa who also won the women’s and mixed doubles to complete a perfect hat-trick.
Sibley beat her main rival, Joanna Parker, 4-1 in an absorbing match of attack versus defence as Sibley’s all-conquering powerplay eventually overcoming Parker’s defensive consistency.
The English number two won 4-1 (11-6, 3-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-5).
The women’s under-21s was won by Emma Vickers against Hannah Hicks.