King in medals for England Schools


Up-and-coming table tennis player Yolanda King won two medals while representing England Schools in Shropshire.

The 16-year-old from Hastings grabbed a gold and silver in the Butterfly Home Countries Schools International at Lilleshall National Sports Centre.

Playing for England A intermediate girls with Vicky Smith (Devon), King was unbeaten in wins over Ireland (4-1), Scotland B (5-0) and Scotland A (5-0).

But the England junior no.4 had a surprise 11-9, 12-14, 11-13, 7-11 loss to Janay Gibson (Cheshire), ranked 26, in her team’s win over England B, King appearing unable to get her game together.

Come the final against Wales, however, her game was flying, King beating Nicole Hall 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5 and the top Welsh girl, Charlotte Carey, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6, 11-6 as England A clinched the title.

In her singles group, King looked in deep trouble when 1-2 in games and 1-5 down against Nicole Hall (Wales), but pulled through in five and won her other group matches easily, including a straight games success over Gibson.

King, of the Cranbrook-based Weald TTC, comfortably overcame Evie Collier (Essex) 11-1, 12-10, 11-5 in the semi-finals and looked all set for victory when leading by two games to one and 4-1 in the final against Carey.

Despite Carey’s corner calling time-out, King still took the next point to go 5-1 up, but then started to make a host of errors against a player she had beaten in their previous three encounters.

She nevertheless had three match points at 10-7, but lost five in a row to surrender the fourth game before collapsing in the fifth to go down 6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 10-12, 6-11.