Table Tennis: Lomas handicap

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A THIGH injury could hinder Lisa Lomas from following up her success of a European silver medal last season with a run in the European Top 12 tournament in Copenhagen over the next three days.

Lomas has the ability and the draw, though perhaps not the fitness, to become the first woman from this country to challenge for the title since Gill Hammersley-Parker won it 12 years ago. Although she has been practising this week and having treatment on the injury, the England manager, Donald Parker, could only say: 'She will start the tournament, but we don't know how she will go after that'.

Lomas is in the same group as Csilla Batorfi, the title holder from Hungary, and Mirjam Hooman, the English Open champion from the Netherlands, both of whom she beat last season. A top-form performance and full mobility would give her hopes of qualifying for the semi-final knock-out stage.

England's other No 1, Chen Xinhua, is competing in the Top 12 for the first time, in the same group as Jorgen Persson, the title holder and world champion. Carl Prean completes the first trio of English players for six years to qualify for the tournament and is in the same group as the Olympic champion, Jan-Ove Waldner.