Ash was a smash at the worlds

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BY DAR­REN WITCOOP

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.

Ash­ley Stokes

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