TABLE TENNIS: Double School Games gold for Grantham College student Leete
Grantham College student Matt Leete was a double gold medallist at the School Games last week.
Matt helped the Midlands boys’ team to win the team title for the third year in succession, before sweeping all before him to take the singles gold as well.
The 16-year-old was unbeaten in singles matches throughout the weekend at Loughborough University.
He first helped Midlands win group matches against Scotland (5-2), South West (6-1) and Wales (5-2), and they then beat South East 4-2 in the semi-finals.
The final saw them up against North East, and Matt’s 3-0 victory over Joe Clark helped them to a 4-1 success; he also teamed up with Alex Ramsden to win the doubles tie.
In the individual event, Matt won three knockout matches to put him in the semi-finals against Northern Ireland’s Owen Cathcart. He was made to work hard to secure a 3-1 (8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 15-13) victory.
His final opponent was Clark, who had upset top seed Ramsden in the last 16. And although Clark improved on their previous clash by taking a set, Matt was too good in a 3-1 (11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 11-3) scoreline.
Matt said: “We had a good chemistry between the team and respect for each other and were there supporting each other and battling well as a team. We helped each other through tough matches.
“In the singles, when I saw Joe had beaten Alex Ramsden, I thought I had a chance to win it. I had Owen in the semi-finals and I wasn’t sure I’d get through because he beat me in the Six Nations, but I relaxed and let my bat do the work.
“I had a lot of support in the crowd and that lifted me up a bit when I got down. I thought, ‘I’ve come this far and I’ll put everything into it to get a gold instead of silver’.”
Also in the Midlands squad was King’s School student Nathan Butler, 16, who contributed some good singles wins to the team cause.
Nathan said: “We came in thinking we had a chance because we won it last year. We battled hard when we had to and I think the key was team spirit.”