Pitchford helps England to bronze medal

Chesterfield's Liam Pitchford helped England clinch a World Championship medal for the first time since 1983, despite losing their semi-final 3-1 to Japan today.

Saturday, 5th March 2016, 6:21 pm
Updated Saturday, 5th March 2016, 6:26 pm
Liam Pitchford is pictured with his coach Alan Cooke

None of the squad were born the last time England were on the podium, and they became the first team to be promoted from the second division – in Tokyo two years ago – to win a medal in the next championships.

World number seven Jun Mizutani broke England hearts, beating Paul Drinkhall 3-0 (11-8, 11-9, 11-4) and then sinking Pitchford 3-2 in the decisive fourth match (8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-6), having saved four Pitchford match points in the fourth game.

Pitchford was also beaten 3-2 by world number 24 Maharu Yoshimura (5-11, 14-12, 7-11, 12-10, 9-11).

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

World number 159 Sam Walker got England’s point with the biggest win of his career, beating world No 20 Yuya Oshima 3-1 (11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9).

But England can take consolation from their bronze medal – awarded to both losing semi-finalists – and from having earned useful ranking points in the race for the Rio Olympics.

In the other semi-final, China beat Korea 3-0.