Tom Jarvis declared it ‘my biggest day in table tennis’ as he won the national under 21 men’s singles title and reached the semi-finals of the senior event.
The 16-year-old from Skegness put in an eye-catching performance at the PG Mutual National Championships in Hatfield.
In reaching the last four of the main men’s singles event, he was in the company of the three England players who recently won England’s first World Team Championships medal since 1983 – Liam Pitchford, Paul Drinkhall and Sam Walker.
Drinkhall was his opponent and although he lost 4-1 (11-8, 11-4, 6-11, 11-6, 11-5), he felt he had held his own for much of the match.
Before his semi-final, Jarvis faced Helshan Weerasinghe, 19, in the final of the under-21s.
His opponent led 1-0 and had chances to lead 2-1 in a high-quality encounter, but Skegness Grammar School pupil Jarvis won more of the key points to seal a 4-1 (10-12, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8, 11-5) victory and add the title to his previous age group accolades.
The champion said: “I’m absolutely over the moon.
“I knew I’d have to dig in and I had a difficult match against Alex Ramsden in the semi-finals, so I was happy to come out of that.”
That match went in Jarvis’ favour 4-3 (11-8, 10-12, 13-11, 10-12, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8) – and he had beaten Ramsden in an earlier round of the men’s singles too.
“I was thinking before I went in to the tournament that I wanted to win the under 21s and get a medal in the men’s singles and I did it – there’s no better feeling you could have,” said Jarvis.
“I think this is the biggest table tennis day of my life - I’ve come here and performed.
“You have no easy matches at the nationals, it’s different to any other event.
“I’ve got my name on the trophy and that can never go.”