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Commonwealth Games 2002
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Table Tennis Saturday, 27 July, 2002, 19:12 GMT 20:12 UK
Heat is on for England
Players face hot and humid conditions in the SportCity arena
Players face hot and humid conditions in the SportCity arena
England chalked up their third successive victory in the men's team event thanks to some shrewd pre-tournament planning by coach Soren Ahlen.

On a visit to Manchester's SportCity table tennis centre he soon became aware of how hot and humid the conditions were.

The Swede then decided to warm things up at the squad's Nottingham training camp in the weeks leading up to the games.

His policy appears to be working. While a number of teams are wilting, England are getting stronger.

open quote
You could say it was good tactics
end quote
Soren Ahlen
England coach

Ahlen said: "We had a training camp in Manchester before the games so we expected the hot conditions.

"We turned the heat up high when we went to Nottingham, so we were prepared.

"I suppose you could say it was good tactics."

Ahlen's foresight saw England defeat Wales 3-0 and progress to the quarter finals as winners of group A.

Matthew Syed, Andrew Baggaley and Alex Perry all chalked up victories against tough opposition.

Perry said: "We turned up the temperature in the practice hall in Nottingham.

"While other people are complaining about the conditions here, I am comfortable."

However, England's hopes of winning group B in the women's event were dashed when they went down 3-0 to Canada.

But they still qualify after recording an important victory against Malaysia earlier in the day.

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