Drinkhall’s Rio bid ended by Lei

Paul Stimpson

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Paul Drinkhall’s bid to directly qualify for the Rio Olympics was today ended by Lei Kou of Ukraine.

Drinkhall lost 4-1 to the world No 46, the same opponent who defeated him in last year’s European Games bronze medal match.

He had his chances, leading 7-1 in the second before losing it 12-10, and then blitzing through the third 11-3.

But Lei Kou shaded the important fourth game and closed out a 4-1 win (11-8, 12-10, 3-11, 12-10, 11-4).

It means Drinkhall, like Liam Pitchford, will have to wait to see whether he will qualify for Rio by virtue of his world ranking when next month’s list is published.

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