Drinkhall tak­ing con­so­la­tion from dou­bles gold, af­ter early sin­gles exit

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - COMMONWEALTH GAMES - PAUL EDDISON SPORTS REPORTER ■ Email: yp.sport@ypn.co.uk ■ Twit­ter: @york­shire­post

PAUL DRINKHALL has found it hard to get over the dis­ap­point­ment of miss­ing out on a sin­gles medal at the Com­mon­wealth Games – gold in the men’s dou­bles should ease the pain.

The Mid­dles­brough ta­ble ten­nis ace was seeded fifth in the sin­gles and was con­sid­ered a strong con­tender for a medal only to fall in the last 16.

He had al­ready won bronze in the team event, but Drinkhall wanted more than that, and he got it along­side part­ner Liam Pitch­ford.

They reached the fi­nal of the men’s dou­bles where they took on In­dian duo Sharath Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, racing through the first set.

Af­ter be­ing pegged back to trail 2-1, they then pro­duced their best ta­ble ten­nis to clinch gold, 11-5, 10-12, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8.

And Drinkhall re­vealed af­ter­wards that dou­bles gold would go some way to eas­ing the sin­gles frus­tra­tion.

He said: “It’s a fan­tas­tic achieve­ment. From a very young age you watch big events like this. We were plan­ning on com­ing here and win­ning a lot of medals and to get the gold around our neck is great.

“We would have wanted it be­fore now but that hap­pens ev­ery­body has had a great tour­na­ment and it’s great to get ours now.

“In the sin­gles it wasn’t the re­sult I wanted which was very dis­ap­point­ing but we went onto the dou­bles shortly af­ter and man­aged to pull through that. From that mo­ment I’ve just tried to stay fo­cused and get the gold and that’s hap­pened now so I can be very happy with this and put the sin­gles to back of my mind for a bit longer.”

This was Drinkhall’s sec­ond Com­mon­wealth ti­tle, hav­ing won the mixed dou­bles in Glas­gow four years ago.

And while the sin­gles slip-up pre­vented him from win­ning three medals at these Games, the 28-year-old has vowed to learn from the ex­pe­ri­ence.

He added: “I think I’ve had a good tour­na­ment and played very well.

“I ob­vi­ously had a lapse in my sin­gles, more than a lapse, and that cost me but those things hap­pen in sport but I’ve got to work on those to try to make sure it doesn’t hap­pen again.”

PAUL DRINKHALL: Mid­dles­brough player took gold in men’s dou­bles in Aus­tralia.

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