Commonwealth Games 2002
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Table Tennis Friday, 26 July, 2002, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK
England survive table tennis scare
Dexter St Louis of Trinidad and Tobago nearly caused an upset
Trinidad and Tobago nearly caused an upset

The Commonwealth Games table tennis event was almost handed an early surprise as England escaped embarrassment at the hands of Trinidad and Tobago.

England, one of favourites for the men's team title, were expected to ease past their Group A Caribbean opponents, but it was left to Andrew Baggaley to defeat Reeze Burke in the final match to secure a 3-2 victory.

One of the tips for gold in the men's individual, Matthew Syed, was rested by England for the first team match.

The national coach explained afterwards he had every confidence that his team would get a result.

"I have five players in the team and I do what I think is best for the team," said Soren Ahlen. "There is no problem.

Matthew Syed was rested for the opening round
Syed was rested for round one

"I think it was very good for us to have such a tough match. If you win, it helps your confidence."

In the other Group A match, Northern Ireland beat Lesotho 3-0, with Wales yet to begin their campaign.

Singapore's men, considered to be one of the other favourites for the title, eased past Dominica 3-0 in Group B, while Scotland cruised to a 3-0 win over Barbados.

In Group C, Canada beat Cameroon 3-0, Nigeria beat Kiribati by the same scoreline and St Vincent and the Grenadines were whitewashed by Cyprus.

India, who are expected to feature in the medals, beat the Group D opponents Maldives 3-0 and there were also wins for New Zealand and Mauritius.

Action hots up

In the women's event, England complained of the heat as they took a step towards the quarter-finals.

The indoor arena at SportCity became a sauna in the Manchester sunshine and both players and spectators sweated it out.

England managed to overcome the conditions to defeat Barbados 3-0.

Mauritius' withdrawal meant England were without a game in Group B on Friday night.

Group C rivals Wales and Northern Ireland failed to qualify after both lost their first two games, allowing New Zealand and India to progress to the quarter-finals.

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26 Jul 02 | Squash
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