Chesterfield's Liam Pitchford selected for Team GB squad as Tokyo Olympics place

Liam Pitchford in action during the last European Games in Baku
Liam Pitchford in action during the last European Games in Baku

Liam Pitchford has been called up by Team GB for the European Games next month – with a possible place at the Tokyo Olympics up for grabs.

The 25-year-old Chesterfield player is named alongside English colleagues Paul Drinkhall, Sam Walker and Tin-Tin Ho, plus Charlotte Carey of Wales, for the event in Minsk.

Pitchford and Walker will compete in the men’s singles, Ho and Carey in the women’s singles and Pitchford, Walker and Drinkhall in the team event.

Table tennis is one of three sports, alongside archery and shooting, where there are opportunities to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The top three athletes in the men’s and women’s singles, plus the gold medal-winning teams, will all earn an automatic place at the Olympics.

Team Leader Simon Mills said: “We’re delighted we’ve been able to increase the squad from three who went to the last European Games, securing a men’s team place and an additional female place.

“The focus is on enabling the athletes to deliver their best performances, with the added incentive of the opportunity to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.”

Pitchford is no stranger to Team GB call-ups, having competed at the London and Rio Olympics and also at the inaugural European Games in Baku four years ago.

The table tennis contingent is part of a 101-strong Team GB squad across 11 sports for the event in the Belarussian capital from June 21-30.