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Rumgay misses out on automatic World Ping Pong place

PUBLISHED: 10:23 01 February 2019

Gavin Rumgay in action (pic Tai Chengzhe/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Gavin Rumgay in action (pic Tai Chengzhe/Matchroom Multi Sport)

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Stratford's Gavin Rumgay came up short in reclaiming automatic entry into next year's BetVictor World Championship of Ping Pong, writes Ziad Chaudry.

Gavin Rumgay in action (pic Tai Chengzhe/Matchroom Multi Sport)Gavin Rumgay in action (pic Tai Chengzhe/Matchroom Multi Sport)

Those reaching the last eight are guaranteed a return ticket to Alexandra Palace and Matchroom MultiSport supremo Barry Hearn’s $100,000 class old school sandpaper hardbat tournament.

But the 34-year-old was beaten in the last 16 by China’s Hu Junchao in two straight sets (14-15, 11-15) last weekend.

“Losing to Hu was tough but every match was a challenge,” said Scottish-born Rumgay – a former Commonwealth Games table tennis medalist.

“Barry Hearn’s event is the best event on the calendar.”

Rumgay earlier brushed aside Irishman Zak Wilson (15-6, 15-9), Poland’s Filip Mlynarski (15-12, 15-6) and last chance saloon qualifier Huan Riliang (15-7, 15-13).

And Perth-born Rumgay, who has reached the last eight on three occasions, pocketed $2,000 for his weekend’s efforts, saying the players are adapting the spin element of table tennis’s sandpaper hardbat version more as the standard improves.

“Players are understanding the spin of the game a little bit better now,” he added.

“There is little subtleties to the game, little changes in pace which also involved little changes in spin as well and a lot of players are adapting quite well to that now.

“There is also a little bit more of players playing like if they are using the present modern-day sponge and rubber table tennis bats.

“Occasionally you will see a shot that looks like it’s going off the end of the table and it’s dipping down. Players are containing the ball a little bit better now and changing the speed.”

Home favourite Andrew Baggaley claimed a hat-trick of WCPP titles after defeating China’s defending champion Wang Shibo in five sets in the final.

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