Kelly Sibley

After Dark Ping Pong caught up with Kelly Sibley at the ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals.  This was the test event for next years London Olympics at the Excel arena.  ADPP were keen to find out how Kelly felt her doubles match went and, in the run up to the Olympic games, how her training is going.

 

Kelly was in action this weekend at the Excel in the doubles with Joanna Parker against tough opponents in Li Jaiwei and Wang Yuegu.

 

“We came up against two tough opponents who have a lot of experience but we knew it was going to be tough so went in with an open mind”

 

After loosing the opening game 6-11 the GB pair settled and started to play really well winning the second game 11-5 to put the game level at 1 a piece. The Third set looked to be secured but at 10-5, in the British duos favour, they gave away 2 quick points and eventually lost it 11-13.

 

“We lost two quick points so it was 10-7 but then after that we just made a couple of mistakes that you cant afford to make against these top players.  And then after that they just gained a lot of confidence and the game seemed to run away form us.”

 

The Singaporean pair then went on to dominate the rest of the game winning the 4th game 4-11 and 5th and final game 3-11. Despite the loss it was a positive performance and the pair can take a lot away from this as they were up against two great players.

 

“It was really disappointing to loose but positive in a way to see that we can compete with some of the worlds best.”

 

We then moved on to gather a little more background about Kelly and what got her into a sport where she is now the second highest ranked female British player.

 

Kelly Started playing table tennis aged 8, as her mother was a keen player.  It was at Lillington Free Church table tennis club, Leamington Spa, where she realised she really enjoyed the sport.

 

“I started because my mum used to play so I went down to the same club in Leamington. It started as playing just Saturdays and then Saturdays and Wednesdays and then gradually ended up playing more and more.”

 

Kelly has gone on to represent England at the Commonwealth Games twice; once in Melbourne, Australia (2006) and again in Delhi, India (2010) where she finished fourth place in the team women’s event.

 

 

In the run up to the Olympic games we were keen to see how Kelly’s training is going and what it consists of.

 

“I am currently doing two sessions every day from 9am till 12:30 and then 3pm till 6pm and that consists of on the table drills and exercises. And then we do some physical work, gym and weights, sprints, running endurance and speed and agility work.”

 

Kelly went on to talk about her aims for the Olympics and the difficulty of managing the singles and doubles events.

 

“In the team event it’s difficult because if me and Jo (Parker) play doubles together then that means we would have to play just one singles each so we have to sit down with the coach and see who’s best for that tactics wise and go from there.”

 

Finally we discussed the reason why we were all there at London’s Excel Arena and wanted to get her opinion on how she thought the test event went.

 

“It has gone really, really well.  We walked in on Tuesday afternoon for practice and were ‘wowed’ by the set up.  Just to think that next year this is where we are going to be for the Olympic games is really exciting and we couldn’t wait to get onto the tables to see what it felt like.”

 

All in all, the test event was a great success and ADPP were greatly impressed with the venue.  The Table Tennis on show was tremendous and this is looking very promising for next years Olympics, we look forward to seeing those lucky enough to get tickets there!

 

Please see below for the full interview video with ADPP’s Marcus Edgworth.

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After Dark Ping Pong were lucky enough to be present at the ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals this weekend, and even luckier to have got a photo with one of the best players to ever have graced the table tennis arena…click here

 
 
 
The Great British Table Tennis Team has had its funding slashed by 50% since 2009 to just £1.2million, making it the least funded olympic sport…click here


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