Stiga Player Tin Tin Ho ready to take to table in Minsk
Tin-Tin Ho will be the first Team GB player in action when the table tennis events get under way at the European Games in Minsk on Saturday.
The England No 1 has been drawn to face Finland’s Anna Kirichenko, who at No 204 is 95 places below Ho in the world rankings. The match is at 10am UK time.
The tie is the only one in the first round, with the winner to play Yang Xiaoxin (WR 73) of Monaco in the second round later on Saturday. Charlotte Carey of Team GB is straight into the second round, where she will play Amelie Solja of Austria (WR 67).
In the men’s singles, Sam Walker has a bye into the second round, where he will take on Pavel Platonov of the host national Belarus, who is ranked 14 places below him at No 100. The winner will face No 10 seed Jonathan Groth of Denmark in the third round on Sunday.
Liam Pitchford, seeded fourth, comes in for the third round and will face the winner of the match between Panagiotis Gionis of Greece (WR 54) and Luka Mladenovic of Luxembourg (Wr 219).
Meanwhile, the men’s team draw throws up another potential clash between Team GB and France in the quarter-finals. No 4 seeds GB will play the winners of the first-round match between the French and Portugal.
If it is France, it would repeat the match between the two at the Round of 16 at the Rio Olympics, which GB won in the deciding game of the deciding match. The England team featuring the same three players – Pitchford, Walker and Paul Drinkhall – also beat France in the quarter-finals of the 2016 World Championships.