Wonderful Weatherby secures first National title

Left to right: Tom Purcell (Table Tennis England director), Ben Fillingham, Josh Weatherby, Fraser Kent, William McCarthy, Nick Jarvis (England head coach). Picture by Steve Parkin.
Left to right: Tom Purcell (Table Tennis England director), Ben Fillingham, Josh Weatherby, Fraser Kent, William McCarthy, Nick Jarvis (England head coach). Picture by Steve Parkin.
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Sunderland’s Josh Weatherby has won his first national table tennis title.

The 12-year-old player took gold in the Under-13 Boys’ Doubles at the U10-U13 National Championships in Preston.

Playing alongside Ben Fillingham from Halifax, the pair were top seeds and lived up to billing as they reached the final without dropping a game.

Their opponents were surprise package William McCarthy and Fraser Kent, who were unseeded.

And the top pair were made to fight all the way before winning it 3-0 (11-9, 12-10, 13-11).

In the singles, Weatherby was seeded third and was in good form as he reached the semi-finals to face second seed Jamie Liu.

It was a high-quality match which both players had a chance to win, before Liu sealed it 3-2 (11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 5-11, 14-12).

It meant Weatherby had to settle for a bronze medal awarded to both losing semi-finalists, but there was no time for him to dwell on that defeat as the doubles final started minutes later.

The Monkwearmouth Academy student said: “It was quite hard to get my mind off the last match, but after the first end I was fine.

“I think I played quite well in the doubles and actually I played well in the singles, but I didn’t do enough in the last little bit.”