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Table Tennis: England take seven to championships

CARL PREAN and Matthew Syed will lead an England team of seven at the 45th World Table Tennis Championships starting in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, today.

Syed, ranked number 31 in the world, will be England's only seeded player. This should take him to the third round, providing he is not unlucky enough to meet any Chinese players.

His backspin tactics, while strong enough to beat many Europeans, have provided no problems for his Chinese opponents.

England's top two women players Nicola Deaton (Derbyshire) and Andrea Holt (Lancashire) have pulled out of the team in a protest at pay and conditions provided by the English Table Tennis Association.

That leaves the women's team for Eindhoven as Helen Lower (Staffordshire) and Cubrat Owolabi (Middlesex).

ENGLAND (World Championships (2-8 August, Eindhoven, Neth): C Prean (Isle of Wight), M Syed (Surrey), A Perry (Devon), T Young (Berkshire), A Baggaley (Bucks); Women: H Lower (Staffs), C Owolabi (Middlesex).