Luckless Pitchford forced to withdraw from Europeans

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Please note - this news article was published more than four months ago. Some of the information contained may no longer be correct.

Unlucky Liam Pitchford has been forced to miss the European Championships, as the rest of the England squad find out who they will be playing when the event starts tomorrow.

Pitchford had to quarantine after a small number of positive covid tests were recorded among passengers on a flight he was on from Russia to the UK last week.

It meant he would not be free from restrictions until after the competition in Warsaw had started and therefore has had to withdraw.

Pitchford would have been fourth seed and the competition would have been a key part of his preparation for the Olympics next month.

As for the rest of the England squad, Paul Drinkhall is 23rd seed and therefore goes straight into the main draw for the Men’s Singles. Sam Walker is in qualifying Group 4 alongside Samuel Kulczycki of Poland and Dimitrije Levajac of Serbia.

In the Women’s Singles, 26th seed Tin-Tin Ho goes straight into the main draw while Charlotte Bardsley is in Qualifying Group 19 with Katarzyna Grzybowska-Franc of Poland, Bernadett Balint of Hungary and Moldova’s Alexandra Chiriacova.

Pitchford’s absence means Drinkhall is not able to compete in the Men’s Doubles, leaving Walker as the sole representative, playing alongside Croatia’s Filip Zeljko. They start against Israeli pair Michael Tauber & Yonatan Shusterman in the first qualifying round.

In the Women’s Doubles, Ho & Bardsley face Alina Jagnenkova of Estonia & Alexandra Chiriacova of Moldova in the first qualifying round.

In the Mixed Doubles, Bardsley teams up with Denmark’s Martin Andersen and they will meet Andrei Putuntica of Moldova & Andrea Pavlovic of Croatia in the first qualifying round. Walker & Ho go straight into the second qualifying round, where they will face Vladislav Rukletsov & Katsiaryna Baravok of Belarus.

The competition begins tomorrow and four tables will be live-streamed on ETTU TV – click here to watch.

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