March 27, 2019, by llyad10
BUCS Big Wednesday | Tin-Tin Ho and David McBeath leave first ever BUCS Championship Finals with Gold
University of Nottingham’s table tennis squads have swept the board at the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) finals, once again asserting their total dominance over university table tennis.
The home squad won all four titles up for grabs on in an impressive display on home soil at the BUCs Big Wednesday event. Victories in the Men’s and Women’s Trophy competitions were swiftly followed by gold medal winning performances in the Men’s and Women’s Championship finals in front of a loud home crowd at the David Ross Sports Village.
Women’s Championship Final
University of Nottingham squad:
- Tin-Tin Ho (C)
- Diruiqi Yang
Result: University of Nottingham 3 – University of Edinburgh 0
The clear favourites for the title, the Nottingham duo wasted no time in dispatching their Scottish opponents, with straight sets victories in their first three singles games forcing Edinburgh to concede in less than an hour. England Senior #1 and Greenaway Sports Scholar Ho was hugely impressive firing winners in quick succession much to the delight of the onlooking spectators. However, it was Yang, who also joined the University of Nottingham this year thanks to the Deng Yaping scholarship programme, who was awarded Player of the Match thanks to lightning reflexes and some incredible defensive play.
After the final Ho told us;
“I’ve really enjoyed my first BUCS Big Wednesday and love playing at home – it’s been a massive boost having everyone here supporting us and to compete in a familiar setting. Having four teams here is incredible, we’re all pushing each other to keep playing better and better.”
Men’s Championship Final
University of Nottingham squad:
- Gabriel Achampong (C)
- David McBeath
- Tianyuan Liu
- Joshua Bennett
Result: University of Nottingham 10 – UCL – 3
University of Nottingham were going for a record sixth title in a row in the Men’s Championship final and with experienced captain Gabriel Achampong alongside three very talented first year sports scholars, no one would bet against them. UCL were tough competitors however, with their no # 1 just one spot behind McBeath in the England Senior rankings.
Boosted by three golds already in the bag and at 7-1 up early on, confidence was high. Nottingham had to remain patient however and after Achampong made it 8-2, it was Bennett who sealed the championship gold as Nottingham ran away with the match 9-2. His win was quickly followed by Liu in his singles rubber, the Deng Yaping scholar making quick work of his opponent to join in the celebrations!
Captain Gabriel Achampong, winning a fourth consecutive gold in his final year at the University of Nottingham, was delighted with his team’s performance;
“I’m so happy with this victory – I’ve really enjoyed this season with these guys and there has been so many highlights – with more exciting games to come at the Europeans this summer where we’re targetting a medal. I really want to thank the University, Kelly and our coaching team for all their incredible support during my time here at Nottingham. My sports scholarship has allowed me study alongside competing at the top level for four years and it’s fantastic to be able to bring home another gold for the #GreenandGold.”
Head of Table Tennis Kelly Sibley, commented:
“I’m so pleased and incredibly proud of all the players today, what a fantastic achievement. We were favourites in all the finals, but we’ve worked incredibly hard in practice to deliver these four gold medals. Our experienced players have been here before, which is invaluable, and our new recruits have quickly slotted into the performance culture here at Nottingham. Tin-Tin as England Senior #1 and David McBeath as no #4 are just two of several incredibly promising first year students and we’re just going to keep going from strength to strength.”
Earlier in the morning, University of Nottingham’s second teams had got the day off to a dream start with comprehensive victories in the Trophy finals, where they were also hot favourites.
Haoyu Liu, former BUCS individual champion returning from a season’s break, and her team mate Tay Hui Li didn’t drop a game as they closed out their fixture with a resounding 3-0 victory against local rivals Nottingham Trent University. In the Men’s Trophy event, the Green and Gold took on Newcastle, who were forced to concede at 3-9, when Martynas Matuzeviews defeated his opponent in straight sets, much to the growing crowd’s delight.
Next up, the players turn their attention to next week’s Varsity competition followed by a busy summer of international competition. The elite squad head to Italy for the European Universities’ Championship and even with World Universities’ selection yet to be confirmed, there’s no doubt the team will have a strong #GreenandGold representation.
“BUCS are done and dusted; we’ve done a clean sweep of league, cup and individuals. I’m hoping we’ll have players selected for the World University Games and then we have the Europeans in Italy. The team that we’ve got is probably one of the strongest that Nottingham has ever had so I’m really excited to go there and see what my players can do on a European stage.”
For information on Performance Table Tennis and to follow the latest from the squad, click here.