Table Tennis: Prean finds the form to save England

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The Independent Online
A magnificent return to form by Carl Prean and an exciting fightback by England helped the home country to a 4-1 win in a marathon four-hour match against Russia and kept them in the hunt for medals in the European championships at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham yesterday, writes James Leigh. England, silver medallists last time and seeded second out of 45 countries this time, were in trouble at 2-0 down before Prean, who has suffered the worst season of his career following a dispute with his club, a wrist injury and loss of confidence, began England's recovery by beating Maxim Shmyrev in straight games. He then won the doubles with Alan Cooke against Andrei Mazunov and his brother Dmitri. Chen Xinhua beat Dmitri Mazunov to put England 3-2 up and Prean completed the England fightback with his third success, a brilliant 21-13, 23-25, 21-18 win over Andrei Mazunov. Later England's women, seeded fourth, got back into contention for a medal with a 4-2 win over Hungary.