Sam Walker says winning silver in the men’s team table tennis at the Commonwealth Games has given him every incentive to go one better and win gold in four years time.
The 19-year-old Worksop star picked up the silver, alongside team-mates Paul Drinkhall, Liam Pitchford, Andrew Baggaley and Daniel Reed, despite not seeing any game-time, mainly due to the a string of impressive performances from his more experienced team-mates as England reached the final.
There, they faced Singapore in a repeat of the final from four years ago in Delhi.
But once again, England were to be denied at the final hurdle as Singapore edged a close match 3-1.
“I said beforehand we’d be disappointed if we didn’t win gold and I that is still the case although now we’ve got the silver, it feels really good,” said Walker, who is making his Commonwealth Games debut in Glasgow.
“They had a completely different team to four years ago, including two players formerly from China, which made a big difference.”
“I thought we played very well and had our chances but it just wasn’t to be.”
“But it now gives us every incentive to go and making third time lucky in 2018.”
Inn the group stages England faced three Caribbean sides, Barbados,Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica, and won all three games 3-0.
They then beat Wales by the same score in the quarter-final with only Drinkhall pushed to a fourth game in the opening leg.
In the semi-finals, England faced India in of the games of the tournament.
For the first time, Pitchford was given a real test as he was forced to come back from 2-1 down to beat Sharath Kamal Achanta 3-1.
Drinkhall then had a comfortable 3-0 win over Amalraj Anthony Arputh.
But then Baggaley/Drinkhall lost the doubles 3-2 to Harmeet Desai/Arputh,
Pitchford then met Desai in singles and went 2-0 up, only to be pegged back to 2-2 as Desai won two legs 12-10 before Pitchford won a titanic decider 17-15.
The final against Singapore started with another five-game leg but went the wrong way for Drinkhall as he lost 3-2 to Jiajn Zhan.
Pitchford then lost 3-0 to Ning Gao but England fought back in the doubles with Baggaley/Drinkhall beating Gao/Li 3-1.
But Singapore sealed the gold medal in the fourth leg as Jiajn beat Baggaley 3-0 to give his team the gold medal once again.