FIFTEEN-year-old Adam Harrison travelled to the Isle of Man for the Cadet and Junior Six Nations table tennis championships last weekend.
It was Cliffedale Chandlers Table Tennis Club member Adam’s first official selection for the England team, and his first tournament after receiving support from the Asda Athletes Programme.
The format of the championships was the first two days were team event, and an individual tournament on the third day. Adam and his partner played in the Junior (under-18) boys’ event and faced teams from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Isle of Man and Guernsey.
The team event started with two comprehensive 5-0 victories over Isle of Man and Guernsey on the Friday evening. This settled Adam in nicely and prepared him for the more difficult matches on Saturday against Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Their first match of the day was against a strong Irish team, which they battled hard and won 4-1. In the afternoon they played against Scotland. Adam lost both his matches to the older and more experienced players.
His team-mate won both his matches, and the win was decided by the doubles match. Scotland took the first two sets, but the English players battled hard and took the match 3-2 to win overall and go top of the table.
Adam and his partner cemented the victory with a win over Wales in the last match of the day and collected the gold medal.
Adam was seeded number three for the following day’s singles and beat Colin Daglish of Scotand 3-2, having lost to him the day before. He then faced a crucial match against Chris Griffiths of Wales – if he lost he would be out, and the day before Adam had lost to the Welshman.
The game went as expected with Griffiths taking a 2-0 lead, and he was 10-5 up when Adam started a comeback. He saved five match points and won the third set. He continued these winning ways with a thrilling 3-2 win and finished his group at the top of the table.
Adam then faced a surprise opponent from the Isle Of Man who he beat 3-0 to progress to the semi-finals in which he faced his England partner from the team event.
His partner proved too strong as Adam lost three close sets and went away with a bronze medal from the singles.
All in all, it was was an extremely good start to Adam’s international career. He is now back to training for three weeks before he heads out to Sardinia to represent England Schools at the World Schools Championships.