|Competitor for England|
|2014 Glasgow||Mixed doubles|
|2010 Delhi||Mixed doubles|
Paul Drinkhall (born 16 January 1990) is a British table tennis player, British Number 2. He won the English Championship in 2007, 2009, 2011 & 2012. Paul Drinkhall is the number 2 British player ranked on the ITTF World Ranking list from March 2014 to the present day.
Drinkhall was born in Middlesbrough. He enjoyed much success as a youngster, winning numerous national championships at his age level, and at levels above his own age. This success did not go unnoticed, as he was shortlisted for BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2005, and finished in second place after Theo Walcott in 2006. He was again shortlisted for this award in 2007. He once again finished in 2nd place in 2007.
In April 2008 Drinkhall signed with the German team TTC Indeland Jülich for the 2008-09 season, having previously played for another German club, Goennern. In December 2008 he was runner-up at the World Junior Table Tennis Championships in Madrid, losing to Chen Chien-an in the final. In 2010 Drinkhall signed with the Belgian Super Division club Nodo TTC Ekeren.
At the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi he won a silver medal in the Men's Team event and a bronze medal in the Mixed Doubles events.
Drinkhall has been National Champion in every age group so far eligible to compete in - Under 10, Under 11, Under 12, Under 14, Under 17, and Senior Men. Paul became the youngest player since Chester Barnes to win the English Senior Men's title in Sheffield in March 2007 when he overcame the much more experienced former champion Alex Perry from Devon in the 4 - 1 contest.
2012 Olympic Games
Paul Drinkhall qualified for the 2012 Olympic games through a host nation place. In the singles event, Paul defeated Kuwait's Ibrahim Alhasan 4-0 in the preliminary round then beat world ranked 52, Yang Zi from Singapore. In the last 32 stage, Paul lost to Germany's Dimitrij Ovtcharov.
Drinkhall became only the second English player (after Carl Prean) to win a tournament on the ITTF World Tour Open circuit when he won the Spanish Open in April 2014. This was the first win for a British player in a World Tour singles event in 18 years.
The following month he was part of the England men's team which clinched promotion to the top level of world table tennis at the World Team Championships in Japan.
In June 2014 it was announced that he would be leaving Werder Bremen and rejoining TTC Nodo for the 2014-15 season in order to obtain more playing time, although Werder said that Drinkhall would continue to train with the German club when he was not playing for Nodo or the English national team.
Drinkhall represented England at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, winning a silver medal in the team competition as Singapore took gold in a repeat of the 2010 result. Paul and Joanna Drinkhall subsequently won a gold in the mixed doubles competition, defeating fellow English pairing Liam Pitchford and Tin-Tin Ho in the final. In August 2014 he reached a career high of No 74 in the ITTF world rankings.
In November 2014, Drinkhall reached the final of the Russian Open, beating several top-25 players along the way, including top seed Dimitrij Ovtcharov and third seed Marcos Freitas. His results on the ITTF World Tour meant he qualified for the Grand Finals to be played in Bangkok in December, becoming the first Englishman to compete at the event since 1996. His performances also lifted him to a new career high of No 33 in the ITTF world rankings.
- "Drinkhall has eyes on top table". BBC Sport. 15 June 2007.
- "Drinkhall captures national title". BBC Sport. 5 March 2007.
- "Paul Drinkhall Shortlisted for BBC Award". sportfocus. 1 December 2005.
- "Paul Drinkhall – Olympic table tennis (singles and doubles)". teamvisa.com.
- "Paul Drinkhall verstärkt den Jülicher Talentschuppen" [Paul Drinkhall reinforces the Jülich talent stable]. aachener-zeitung.de (in German). 22 April 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
- "Interview: Paul Drinkhall, England - Ideally I would like to become Olympic Champion" (PDF). Butterfly (corporation). 2009. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
- "Paul Drinkhall eyes Commonwealth table-tennis prize". bbc.co.uk. 3 August 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
- Creighton, Jessica (4 May 2011). "Paul Drinkhall moves to Italy to improve 2012 prospects". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
- "GB table tennis players rely on 2012 host nation spots".
- "BBC Olympic Table Tennis Results".
- Wilson, Scott (29 October 2012). "Drinkhall targets Commonwealth success". Northern Echo. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
- "Drinkhall Returns To The Bundesliga". Table Tennis England. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
- "Paul Drinkhall wechselt zum TTC Nodo" [Paul Drinkhall switches to TTC Nodo]. Werder Bremen (in German). 3 June 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
- "Glasgow 2014: Paul and Joanna Drinkhall win mixed doubles gold". bbc.co.uk. 2 August 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
- Steel, Adam (18 December 2014). "Paul Drinkhall still proud of his efforts in 2014 despite first round defeat at ITTF Grand Finals". Teesside Gazette. Retrieved 23 March 2015.