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Guides: Young Sports Personality of the Year

Last Updated: Friday November 17 2006 18:21 GMT

Paul Drinkhall - Table tennis

Table Tennis player Paul Drinkhall
Sport: Table tennis
Born: 16-1-1990
Home town: Middlesbrough
Achievements: Ranked English number one player aged just 16. In 2006 took the Olympic champion Ryu Seung Min to seven games and three match points, something no player was able to do in the Athens Olympics in 2004.

When did you start?

I got started in table tennis when I went along to a church with my granddad. There was a local league there and me and my brother just went one day as we had nothing to do. I'm quite glad that I did!

What's your training like?

I've given up school so I can train six days a week, six hours a day. We often go to China and practise there because the standard over there is much better as it's their national sport.

When I first started travelling it was quite difficult as I was away from home and missed my family. But now I've been playing table tennis for quite a few years so now most of my friends are in the sport so that helps a lot when I travel.

What's your career highlight so far?

Playing at the Commonwealth Games was absolutely brilliant, not just the sport but the athletes village was amazing and the atmosphere was unbelievable, with all the athletes from different sports and different countries all being together.

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