Table tennis talent Yolanda King played a leading role in helping her university, Nottingham, come fifth in the European Universities Championships in Geneva.
Playing at number one, the 20-year-old from Hastings led Nottingham to an opening 3-2 victory over Kiel University, taking two singles, including the crucial decider in five close games over the German no.1.
Nottingham lost 3-1 to the strong Warsaw University side, but in her second singles King came back from 2-0 down before narrowly losing the deciding game to the Polish no.1.
That was followed by a 3-1 success over the Turkish Dumlupinar University, King winning both her singles. Medal hopes were dashed, however, when Nottingham fell 3-0 to Russian State University for the Humanities, the eventual silver medallists, King losing her only singles.
Nottingham then beat Utrecht University 3-2, King winning her opening singles and then only just failing to beat the Dutch no.1 from a 2-0 lead, leaving it to her team-mate Tressa Armitage to secure the result.
In their final match against Munich University for places five and six, King took a star role in winning both her singles, though she risked losing the second before having a great finish. Armitage then won the last singles for a 3-2 victory and fifth place overall.
Playing with Armitage, King reached the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles, beating Polish pair Adrianna Szulc and Natalia Bak (Kozminski University) 3-0 in the previous round.
They then had real chances against the powerful Anastasiia Golubeva and Olga Gordeeva (Russian State University for the Humanities), fighting back from 6-10 down in the fifth to 10-10 only to make two silly errors.
In the women’s singles, King had a good 3-1 first round win over the awkward Elise Paquereau (Poitiers University, France) before once again meeting the seeded Golubeva.
King, of the Cranbrook-based Weald TTC, was not outclassed by the defensive Russian and at one point was level at 1-1 in games. She did not play particularly well in this encounter, however, and went out 3-1.
Overall she was pleased with her performance. King said: “I played pretty well over the whole event.”
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