Sky Sports cameras loom for English Ping Pong champ
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich’s Richard Hutchinson will grace the Sky Sports cameras in January after becoming the English Ping Pong Champion.
Having beaten all competitors in sight at the championships held in Draycott, Derbyshire last month, Hutchinson will now pit his wits against the world’s best in the World Finals.
“I can’t believe it. It’s been a whirlwind of a few months really,” explained Hutchinson, who only started training properly in the sport six months ago.
Hutchinson has lived in Ipswich all his life and started playing ping pong’s main rival, table tennis at the Britannia Dome (pictured) while studying at Thurlston High School, just metres down the road.
“The Dome’s position was perfect for me, I spent more time there than I did at the school!,” explained Hutchinson. “It’s all I did as a youngster. It really is my passion.”
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Originally from a table tennis background, Hutchinson won countless trophies throughout his youth and has been a regular Ipswich and county champion since.
However, when Hutchinson saw that as part of Barry Hearn’s matchroom promotions there was a chance to play in the world ping pong championships at Alexandra Palace, on the big screens, the 44-year-old quickly adapted his game to suit the old classic version of table tennis.
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“When I first saw that Barry was advertising the championships it really grabbed my attention because I thought I might as well challenge myself,” recalled Hutchinson.
“I’m not getting any younger at 44 so I thought I’d try and seize the moment as such.”
Pitted against 60 other competitors in the national qualifier in Draycott, Derbyshire, Hutchinson turned in an outstanding display to win the event and seal the one qualifying spot for the World Finals which are scheduled to be played on January 4 and 5.
What makes the win even more spectacular for Hutchinson is that he came back from match point down to win the final, something that the construction worker still pinches himself about.
“It was just an unreal set of events really, never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d win the English Ping Pong Title let alone qualify for the World Championships.
“I’m going to carry on preparing in the same way and my New Year’s resolution will to be win the World Championships for Suffolk.
“After getting this far, I don’t see why I can’t go one step further and win the lot.”
Tickets for the World Finals are now on sale.Please visit www.worldchampionshipofpingpong.net for more information.