Ackworth school pupils enjoy national success

Ackworth School's Amirul Hussain and Ruby Chan, who both took gold medals in the England Cadets table tennis Under 12 National Championships, in Grantham.
Ackworth School's Amirul Hussain and Ruby Chan, who both took gold medals in the England Cadets table tennis Under 12 National Championships, in Grantham.

Ackworth School enjoyed a double victory as the best young table tennis players in England battled it out at the Cadet National Cup, in Grantham.

Amirul Hussain and Ruby Chan both took gold at the event, which sees the top 10 players on the Table Tennis England rankings play each other on a round-robin basis to decide the champion.

Hussain was top seed for the boys’ competition and won eight of his nine matches, only slipping up against third seed Naphong Boonyaprapa in a thrilling match which ended 4-3 (6-11, 6-11, 12-10, 11-8, 5-11, 14-12, 11-9).

Chan was seeded third in the girls’ event but also won eight matches, including an amazing 4-3 victory over second seed Gemma Kerr.

Chan was 3-0 down but saved match points in both the fourth and sixth sets as she came all the way back to win an epic contest 4-3 (9-11, 10-12, 7-11, 12-10, 12-10, 16-14, 11-7).

She defeated top seed and school-mate Jasmin Wong 4-1 (11-9, 2-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-3) in her next match to ensure gold. Wong finished in the silver medal positions with seven wins.

Hussain, Chan and Wong are all part of the Table Tennis England National Talent Academy at Ackworth.

Chan said: “It feels amazing to win my first Cadet title.

“Being 3-0 down to Gemma Kerr and coming back to win 4-3 was important. I was 10-7 down in the fourth game and I just tried to be calm and not lose my head and focus on it point by point.

“This is up there with anything else I’ve won because all nine players I played here are really good and each match was tough.”

Hussain added: said: “It’s really hard because you play matches constantly and they are really tiring and tough matches. I kept calm and stayed positive and listened to my coach.

“I’m going to the Italian Youth Open next week and I’ll approach it the same way.”