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YSPOTY contenders: Liam Pitchford Q&A

Liam Pitchford
Liam Pitchford won silver and bronze medals at this year's Commonwealth Games in Delhi

Table tennis player Liam Pitchford has already established himself as one of England's best at the age of 17.

Liam, a nominee for this year's Young Sports Personality of the Year, went to Delhi for the Commonwealth Games, and came back with a silver medal from the men's team event and a bronze in the men's doubles.

Here are his answers to the questions posed by the School Reporters from St John Wall Catholic School in Handsworth, Birmingham. And you can find out more about the other nine contenders for the Young Sports Personality of the Year prize here.

Q: What inspired you to start playing your sport?

I saw table tennis as a challenging but fun sport to do in my spare time and when things progressed i started to take it more and more seriously.

Q: What is your biggest ambition in your sport?

My main ambition for the future is to be Olympic champion, and my ambition for this year is to be European junior champion.

Q: What was your first big achievement in your sport?

My first big achievement was when I won the English Under-15 Championships. At the time, that was the biggest tournament for me.

Q: What is your best memory from your time playing your sport?

My best memory from table tennis has to be at this year's Commonwealth Games when we played the team final. The atmosphere was just amazing and it was great to be involved in such a great team.

Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France an astonishing seven times

Q: Who is your role model and why?

My role model is Lance Armstrong. I just think he had so much character and determination to do what he has done - it inspires me to try to do the same in my sport.

Q: Apart from your own success, what has been your favourite sporting moment of the year?

I think I would have to go with the Ryder Cup victory. It was such an incredibly tight match and to see Europe win was just fantastic.

Q: Who would you pick to compete against if you could choose anyone who has ever played your sport?

I would have to choose Jan Ove Waldner: possibly the greatest table tennis player ever. He could do things with a table tennis ball that were unthinkable.

Q: What kind of sacrifices have you had to make to get to where you are?

I have had to give up on a lot of the social side of life with friends from school and last year after my GCSEs I gave up my schooling to concentrate on table tennis.

Q: Who are your best friends and/or main rivals in your sport?

My best friend from table tennis is probably Gavin Evans. We are number one and two in juniors so we travel and practise a lot together - but at times he is also my biggest rival on the table.

Q: What is your favourite song of 2010?

This is a tough one because there have been some good songs recently but I would have to say Just A Dream by Nelly at the moment.

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