CITY table tennis star Andrew Baggaley is now officially ranked as number one in the country after enjoying a great 12 months on the professional European circuit.
This year saw Baggaley compete on the ITTF Pro Tour for the first time, and recent successes have now seem him leapfrog Middlesbrough’s Paul Drinkhall into the No.1 spot in Great Britain.
Baggaley’s fantastic year began with a sensational ITTF Pro Tour Polish Open campaign last November in which he beat the former world No.1 Jean-Michel Saive from Belgium before going on to play well at Pro Tour events in Slovenia, England, Germany, Spain, Austria during the year, most recently in Sweden last month.
His performances have also notched him up to number 142 in the world, having spent much of his career outside the top 200, and his great form could not have come at a better time for the five-time Commonwealth Games medallist as he counts downs the month until the 2012 London Olympics.
Baggaley, a three-time English National Singles champion, said: “This is definitely very much a team effort and I’m very thankful to my family, friends and my sponsors for their massive support in helping me achieve this status in a relatively short period of time.
“I fully believe this is just the start and I hope to break into the world top 100 very soon. I have massive self belief that on my day I can beat any player in the world and I’m sure I can continue the world class form and be at my peak in London.”
The 28-year-old will be part of the first ever Team GB Men’s side that will take on a World All Stars team as part of the ITTF Pro Tour Finals event later this month. The competition is also the official ‘test event’ for table tennis at ExCel in London before the real thing next year.