Chris Doran in action at Alexandra Palace last year (picture by Michael Loveder)

Doran reaches world ping pong semis

Paul Stimpson

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Chris Doran was England’s best performer at the World Championships of Ping Pong, reaching the semi-finals and beating twice champion Andrew Baggaley on the way.

Doran did not drop a set as he made his way through the group stage, the last 32 and last 16 – where he beat fellow Englishman, Matt Ware.

He then defeated Baggaley, who won the crown in 2015 and 2016, 2-0 in the quarter-finals to become the only non-Chinese player in the last four at Alexandra Palace.

But he was defeated 2-0 (15-13, 15-13) in a tight semi-final by Huang Jungang, who went on to lose to compatriot Wang Shibo in the five-set final. Shibo took the title with a 3-2 (15-11, 13-15, 14-15, 15-13, 15-14) scoreline.

The fourth English player in the event, Martin Gunn, was eliminated in the group stage.

Scottish pair Ian Johnston and Gavin Rumgay and Ireland’s John Murphy all reached the last 32 – Rumgay getting out of his group thanks to a last-gasp 15-14 third-set win over Russia’s Dmitry Bobrov – but were then eliminated.

Results (English players)

Group A
Matt Ware bt Trevor Runyan (USA) 2-1 (15-8, 14-15, 15-10
Yan Weihao (CHN) bt Ware 2-0 (15-7, 15-12)
Ware bt Vlad Farcas (ROU) 2-0 (15-10, 15-5)

Group E
Andrew Baggaley bt Lius Jesus (MEX) 2-0 (15-7, 15-11)
Baggaley bt Dwain Schwarzer (GER) 2-1 (10-15, 15-8, 15-10)

Group F
Dmitry Popov (RUS) bt Martin Gunn 2-0 (15-8, 15-12)
Christophe Raynal (FRA) bt Gunn 2-1 (15-10, 10-15, 15-5)

Group H
Chris Doran bt Gabriel Moreira (URU) 2-0 (15-6, 15-12)
Doran bt Li Zhong (CHN) 2-0 (15-6, 15-13)

Round of 32
Doran bt Benjamin Sorensen (DEN) 2-0 (15-9, 15-10)
Ware bt Richard Gonzales (PHI) 2-0 (15-14, 15-12)
Baggaley bt Adam Brat (SVK) 2-1 (15-12, 13-15, 15-7)

Round of 16
Doran bt Shen Jianyu (CHN) 2-0 (15-9, 15-12)
Baggaley bt Ware 2-0 (15-10, 15-6)

Doran bt Baggaley 2-0 (15-8, 15-7)

Huang Jungang (CHN) bt Doran 2-0 (15-13, 15-13)

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