March 20, 2018, by Kate Rothery
BUCS Big Wednesday Preview: Men’s Table Tennis 1s
The last in our series of BUCS Big Wednesday previews, we take a closer look at the last #GreenandGold game of the day – as UoN Men’s Table Tennis 1s face UCL at 7pm in the David Ross Sports Village salle.
The squad enter the match as clear favourites and will be looking to win a third gold medal in a row after convincing victories in 2017 in Bath and 2016 in Sheffield, both against Nottingham Trent University.
The squad features hugely experienced players Adam Harrison, who captains the side, and Gabriel Achampong. Both will be competing in their third final and would dearly love to add a third consecutive win before the graduate this summer. Harrison and Achampong are joined by fellow sports scholars Marcus Giles and Joe Pilkington, who have started their UoN first team career in impressive form.
The team have had a stellar year so far – they have won the BUCS Premier North league comfortably without losing a match and University of Nottingham swept the board at the individual championships in November.
Captain Harrison took a silver medal in the Men’s singles – beaten only by teammate Danny Reed who has since graduated – and then teamed up with Reed to take gold in the Men’s doubles. He picked up a third medal, another silver, in the mixed doubles with Letitia McMullen – again only defeated by the UoN first pairing, Reed and Maria Tsaptsinos. Achampong then completed a clean sweep in the mixed doubles, pairing with Yolanda King.
Opponents UCL are more of an unknown – UoN had expected to face Nottingham Trent in the final as in the previous two gold medal matches. However, the BUCS Premier South champions took a narrow 9-8 victory against Trent in the semi-final, earning them a place in the Nottingham finals.
UCL’s main threat will come from Helshan Weerasinge, the number 2 seeded player behind Danny Reed at this year’s Nationals. Harrison should be confident of leading his team to victory though – he has already defeated Weerasinge this season en route to the Men’s singles final during November’s individual event.
He told us how critical playing at David Ross Sports Village is to the team;
“I think the home advantage is huge. To prepare here, not to get up early and not to have to travel anywhere – that’s critical. A home crowd will boost us and get us through those tough moments in the game – and we intend to win a gold medal for them.”
“Representing the University of Nottingham, being part of the Green and Gold means everything to me. I’ve been able to thrive as part of this programme here and I’m looking forward to what is still to come!”
Men’s 1 are also joined by the University of Nottingham Men’s 2nd team, who will compete against Derby 1st in the Trophy final, scheduled for 4.30pm, also at David Ross Sports Village.
Also at 7pm, the Women’s 1st team will compete in the Championship final against Durham – click here to read their pre-match preview.
Join us for a packed evening of table tennis at David Ross Sports Village, and support the #GreenandGold to cement their dominance at the top of University table tennis!
Purchase your tickets online here.
Can’t make it down to Nottingham? View the Men’s Trophy and Championship finals via live stream here.
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