Liam Pitchford

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Liam Pitchford
Nationality Great Britain
Born (1993-07-12) 12 July 1993 (age 26)
Chesterfield, England
Playing styleShakehand, Offensive
Equipment(s)Butterfly Jun Mizutani ZLC (blade), Butterfly Tenergy 05 (FH), Butterfly Tenergy 05 (BH)
Highest ranking12 (August 2019)
Current ranking22 (March 2020)
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight58 kg (9.1 st; 128 lb)

Liam Pitchford (born 12 July 1993) is a British Table tennis player. As of March 2020, he is ranked the no. 22 player in the world.

Career[edit]

Pitchford began playing table tennis when he was 8 years old. He won the British Home Countries Championship in 2009, and two Commonwealth Games medals in 2010 (Silver in Team and Bronze in Doubles).[1]

In the summer of 2011, he transferred to German club TTF Liebherr Ochsenhausen in the top division, the Bundesliga, having played for second division club FC Tegernheim the previous season. From 2009 to 2010 Pitchford played for Aarhus BTK in the best Danish league. In July 2014, his contract with Ochsenhausen was extended by three years.[2]

In the autumn of 2011, he beat World number nine Vladimir Samsonov[3] and World junior number three Wu Jiaji in international competitions, paving his route to becoming number one in the English rankings in November 2011. He finished the year with a career-high World ranking of 171 to become the third highest-ranked British player on the ITTF World Ranking list, and was subsequently part of the Team GB squad for the London Olympics in 2012.[4]

Pitchford has won national singles titles at U14, Cadet, U21 and Senior levels, and doubles titles at U14, Cadet, Junior and Senior levels.[5] He is the reigning men's singles national champion (March 2015).[6]

In 2014 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.[7]

Pitchford 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. He also won a silver medal alongside Tin-Tin Ho in the mixed doubles, and won the bronze medal in the men's singles.[8] In August 2014 he reached a career high of No 44 in the ITTF world rankings.[9]

At the 2015 World Table Tennis Championships, Pitchford showed growth by reaching the round of 32 in men's singles.[10] He beat two-time World Cup runner-up Kalinikos Kreanga and world number 20 Tiago Apolonia before losing to South Korean Joo Sae-hyuk.[11]

In June 2015, Pitchford was part of the Great Britain table tennis squad at the inaugural European Games in Baku, where he reached the quarter-finals.[12]

In March 2016, Pitchford was part of the England team, alongside Paul Drinkhall and Sam Walker, which won bronze medals at the World Team Championships in Malaysia, England's first medal at that level since 1983 and the first time a newly promoted team had earned a podium place at the event.[13]

Pitchford competed for Team GB in the singles and team events at the Rio 2016 Olympics. He reached the last 32 in the singles[14] and, alongside Paul Drinkhall and Sam Walker, beat France[15] to reach the quarter-finals of the team event, where GB were beaten by China.[16]

In July 2017, Pitchford helped the Falcons team to win the inaugural Ultimate Table Tennis league in India.[17]

In February 2018, Pitchford was part of the England squad alongside Paul Drinkhall, Sam Walker, David McBeath and Tom Jarvis which won bronze medals by reaching the semi-finals of the ITTF Team World Cup in front of a home crowd at the Copper Box Arena in London.[18]

At the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2018, Pitchford won the gold medal in the men's doubles alongside Paul Drinkhall,[19] the silver medal in the mixed doubles alongside Tin-Tin Ho[20] and was part of the England squad which won men's team bronze, alongside Drinkhall, Sam Walker and David McBeath.[21]

At the 2018 Bulgaria Open, Pitchford beat current Olympic and World champion Ma Long in the first round in a 7 set match,[22] arguably the biggest win of his career. However, in the next round he lost to Ma Long's Chinese teammate Ma Te.[23]

That victory, and a series of other notable wins, saw Pitchford break into the world's top 20 for the first time in December 2018, at No 16.[24]

In November 2019, Pitchford reached the last 16 of the Austrian Open losing 4 nil to the German player Timo Boll. In the last 32, Pitchford defeated 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist Jun Mizutani 4-3.[25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Commonwealth Games Results (Retrieved 24 January 2012).
  2. ^ "Google Translate". translate.google.com. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Liam Pitchford". Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  4. ^ "Olympics table tennis: GB men and women out in first round". BBC Sport. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  5. ^ "Mark Bates Ltd National Championships". Table Tennis England. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Pitchford & Sibley win at nationals". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  7. ^ "England beat Italy to win team title". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Glasgow 2014: England men take silver after losing to Singapore". BBC Sport. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  9. ^ ITTF News
  10. ^ http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/Table-Tennis-Liam-Pitchford-enjoys-good-World/story-26420534-detail/story.html[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/Table-Tennis-Liam-Pitchford-enjoys-good-World/story-26420534-detail/story.html[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/Table-tennis-Liam-Pitchford-knocked-European/story-26724871-detail/story.html
  13. ^ http://ittf.com/_front_page/ittf_full_story1.asp?ID=43396&Competition_ID=2587&
  14. ^ "Pitchford bows out, but Drinkhall still going". Table Tennis England. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  15. ^ "Rio Olympics 2016: Great Britain into quarter-finals of men's team table tennis". BBC Sport. 13 August 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  16. ^ "Rio Olympics 2016: Great Britain out of men's team event after China defeat". BBC Sport. 14 August 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  17. ^ "Falcons TTC outclass Shazé Challengers to clinch the inaugural CEAT UTT title". Ultimate Table Tennis. 30 July 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  18. ^ "England reaches semi-final Copper Box erupts". International Table Tennis Federation. 23 February 2018. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  19. ^ "Dramatic start, dramatic end; gold for England". International Table Tennis Federation. 14 April 2018. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  20. ^ "Silver in Glasgow, same again in Gold Coast; Gao Ning and Yu Mengyu secure title". International Table Tennis Federation. 15 April 2018. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  21. ^ "England secures bronze, Paul Drinkhall sets example". International Table Tennis Federation. 9 April 2018. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  22. ^ "Historic win for Pitchford in Bulgaria". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  23. ^ "Review Day Two: Again early exit for Dimitrij Ovtcharov". International Table Tennis Federation. 17 August 2018. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  24. ^ "Pitchford into world's top 20". Table Tennis England. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  25. ^ "Picture clearer but vital last places still on offer". International Table Tennis Federation. 15 November 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2020.