World Championships of Ping Pong 2020

World Championships of Ping Pong 2020

Our Scottish players performed outstandingly at the WCPP at Alexandra Palace on 25th and 26th January 2020.

Gavin Rumgay surpassed himself by reaching the semi-finals, though not without giving us a few anxious moments en route.  In his Group, Gavin defeated Hong Kong’s Mak King Ho and Aljay Vilena from the Philippines, both in straight sets.  Gavin then had a close match against Tomas Sadilek (CZE) – a quarter-finalist in 2018 – losing the first set by sudden death, and then winning the match on another sudden death point to triumph 14-15, 15-11, 15-14.  Next up against Benjamin Sorensen of Denmark in the last 16, Gavin won by sudden death again, 13-15, 15-6, 15-14, to match his previous best of a quarter-final appearance.

Paul McCreery of Norther Ireland pushed Gavin in the quarter final, but Gavin held on to take the match 15-13, 11-15, 15-11.   In the semi-final Gavin, running out of steam and unable to match the power and angles of “The Flash” Alexander Flemming (GER), went down 4-15, 9-15.  However, he was delighted to be going home with a World Championship Bronze medal and $5,000 to show for his weekend’s work.

Ian Johnston also played amazingly, qualifying out of his Group with an impressive win over the winner of the 2019 European Championship of Ping Pong, Csaba Varga of Hungary.  Ian then met “The Flash” in the last 32 and, put on an excellent performance to finish with an 8-15, 7-15 scoreline.  Although meeting the eventual runner-up at this stage meant that Ian had little hope of continuing on through the knockout, he did achieve his aim of playing on the TV Table – and of pressing the “big gold button” to request his double point ball.  Ian was also one of the few players in the hall who managed to hit a ball past “The Flash” – no mean feat.  Ian’s employer and sponsor, Partner Electronics of Silverstone came along to the Ally Pally to support him.

The bane of both our players this year went to have a thrilling 5 set final against defending Champion, Andrew Baggaley.  The standard of play in the final was incredible, keeping the crowd on the edges of our seats throughout and including three sudden death sets.  “The Flash” won those in sets 1 and 3, before agonisingly losing the set 5 sudden death point and hence the match.  This makes the 3rd time that Flemming has been runner-up at the WCPP, and a record 4th time as Champion for Baggaley.

Overall, it was a tremendous event and I would thoroughly recommend anyone going down to London to watch it live.  Even better, Gavin automatically qualifies for WCPP 2021 so, provided that we achieve 64 players again in 2020 events, we will have 3 Scottish players at the Ally Pally. 
Report by Juliet Johnston, 5/2/2020


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