Table Tennis: Perry's promise on display

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND gave some valuable experience to a famous name - Perry - and may have realised all their main aims in the world team championships, even though they lost twice and finished 12th here yesterday, writes James Leigh from Gothenburg.

That should be enough for the men to qualify for the World Team Cup and European Nations' Cup, and with another campaign in the world championship top group already assured, it mattered little that they finished with defeats by the Czech Republic and Poland.

There were a few criticisms from England supporters. They thought that an attempt should have been made to finish as high as ninth and that the 17-year-old national junior champion, Alex Perry, should not have been picked for two matches. But even though he lost three times and clearly has a distance to go before he could consider emulating his namesake Fred (the world champion in the 1930s), the selection made sense.

England's two winners yesterday were Matthew Syed and Alan Cooke, who performed diligently with a bad back.

Later Sweden won the men's world team title for the third successive time, beating China 3-1 despite an unexpected loss for the Olympic champion, Jan- Ove Waldner, to the World Cup winner, Ma Wenge.