Euro star Venner excels in Liberec

Obby Sport 16/4 Table Tennis Ritchie Venner
Obby Sport 16/4 Table Tennis Ritchie Venner

Ritchie Venner produced a magnificent performance at the ninth European Veterans Table Tennis Championships.

The national veteran no.5, who plays for Saints in the Hastings & District Table Tennis League, reached the quarter-finals of the over-40 men’s singles in Liberec, Czech Republic.

After coming second in his group of four, Venner beat a Czech opponent 3-0 in the first knockout round before defeating a German 3-1 in the second and a Slovakian player 3-2 in the third.

Bexhill-based Venner then knocked out a German 3-0 in the fourth round and got the better of Czech performer Stefan Sagacik 3-11, 11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7 in the last 16.

Venner, a player/coach at the South East Performance Centre in Cranbrook, eventually succumbed to the Russian talent Yuri Illarionov 6-11, 4-11, 9-11.

He also had a good run in the over-40 men’s doubles alongside Uckfield-based Nigel Eckersley. The East Sussex pair won their group and following a bye in the first round, beat a Russian twosome in four games before losing to a German combination in five having recovered from 5-10 down in the fourth.

The full article will appear in Friday’s Hastings Observer.