Ash was a smash at the worlds
SPORT ASHLEY Stokes had mixed emotions after a career-best finish at the ping pong World Championship.
Stokes won three matches before bowing out at the last 16 stage to Russian two-time winner Maxim Shmyrev at Alexandra Palace.
Burnt-Oak based Stokes, 26, eclipsed his previous best in the annual tournament won by defending champion Andrew Baggaley, who pocketed the £13,200 top prize.
But failing to earn automatic qualification for next year’s event was a bitter pill to swallow for Stokes.
He said: “I was happy with my bestever finish but was also disappointed I couldn’t win one more game.
“Automatic qualification takes a lot of pressure off. But I can’t be too downbeat. I’ve made big strides and it was a great experience.
“I beat some quality players but just came up against someone too good for me on the day.”
Stokes beat a Russian, a Dutchman and Team Maccabi GB teammate Eli Baraty en route to the last 16.