Table Tennis: Syed sets up England win
Friday 08 January 1993
The ban, imposed by the English Table Tennis Association on New Year's Day because of the potential health hazard to players, is said to slow down the quickest attackers by as much as 20 per cent. Sure enough, the defensive style of Syed and the backhand blocking and forehand counter-hitting of Prean contained the flamboyantly aggressive Frenchman.
Prean scored two of England's four wins, also beating another left-hander, Nicholas Chatelain, in straight games, but it was Syed's 21-19, 21-18 victory over Gatien in the opening contest that was the showpiece. The Oxford University student reckoned beforehand that the rule change might help him considerably and that is the way it turned out.
The Frenchman tried to break down Syed's mobility, concentration and varieties of spin by mixing slow loops with fast loops and sometimes serving short and tight before following up with quick attacks to prevent Syed retreating into a safe defensive position.
At 19-19 in the first game Syed produced a magnificent forehand chop which he capitalised upon with a spectacular running backhand kill, and then he won the game point with a deceptive service. At 19-18 in the second game Syed returned the ball from all parts of the court and then clinched the first match point with more excellent defence on the forehand side. England's other win in the best-of-seven match came from Chen Xinhua, the national champion.
Earlier, the ETTA made a public clarification of the glue ban, which had been wrongly understood during the national junior trial finals at the weekend to permit 'glueing up' provided it occurred more than 24 hours before playing. Instead, all 'fast' glues are forbidden and a list of safe glues is soon to be published.
Latest in Sport
Jay Hart sex tape: Non-league footballer sacked after being filmed having sex with unknown blonde girl in manager's dug-out
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Radamel Falcao to Liverpool: Agent of Manchester United striker 'makes contact' with Anfield
Cesc Fabregas in Premier League title dig at Arsenal after pointing out '27 year wait'
Manchester United 2015/16 kit leak: Orange and black strip likened to former Chelsea jersey emerges online
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 5 Cancel Sky at your peril: man spends 96 minutes in chat but fails to get rid of service
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...
£12000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Operations Leader is required to join a lea...