Chesterfield's Liam Pitchford to go for table tennis gold again at Birmingham Commonwealth Games

Chesterfield’s Liam Pitchford is targeting further podium success after being confirmed in the England squad for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games (writes Paul Stimpson)

By Mark Duffy
Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 6:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 6:54 pm

The 28-year-old is England’s most decorated athlete at the Commonwealths, with a total of eight medals from three previous editions, including men’s doubles gold alongside Paul Drinkhall in 2018.

He will get the chance to defend that title as Drinkhall is also in the squad, which is completed by Sam Walker and Games debutant Tom Jarvis.

World No 17 Pitchford will also be one of the top seeds in the men’s singles and will aim to help England – who won bronze in 2018 – win team gold.

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Liam Pitchford has again been selected for the Commonwealth Games. (Photo: Getty Images)

His final medal chance will be in the mixed doubles with Tin-Tin Ho, with whom he has won silver at the last two Games.

“I’m looking forward to it and it’s another opportunity," said Pitchford.

"It’s a good achievement to have the most medals by and English table tennis athlete, but it’s not really something I think about and I just want to win more – especially more golds.

"If I can carry on from the three previous Games, I’ll be happy.

“I don’t really like setting big targets and putting too much pressure on myself, but it’s always a chance to win medals in every event that I’m playing.

“Obviously, me and Paul are defending the doubles title, and me and Tins (Tin-Tin Ho) have got silver in the last two Games, so hopefully we can go one further.

“The team bronze wasn’t what we wanted last time and we want to make amends. We need to come together as we know we can.

“The team’s important and we want to win that gold medal, but my main aim will be the singles.

"But I’ll take it one event at a time and see what happens.”

Pitchford is also relishing performing in front of a home crowd at the Games, which begin on July 28.

He added: “I think it’s massive to have the home crowd behind us – it can give you that extra support and extra boost when you need it.

"My parents and sister will definitely be going too, so I’m going to have a lot of support, which is always nice.

"It’s nice for them too as they don’t get to watch me as often any more.”