Olympics: Andrew Baggaley and co knocked out of table tennis team competition

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ANDREW Baggaley’s Olympic dream was over almost before it began as Team GB’s table tennis team were knocked out of London 2012 on Friday night.

Baggaley arrived at the table with Team GB 2-0 down in their best of five first round match against Portugal at the ExCel Arena after singles defeats for Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford.

The 29-year-old from Milton Keynes teamed up with Pitchford for what he hoped would be his first of two matches on the night, but he never got the chance to play a singles tie as the British duo lost their doubles match, and with it the contest 3-0.

Team GB got off to a poor start as Drinkhall was beaten 3-1 by his annoyingly over exuberant Portuguese opponent in the opening singles match.

The man from Middlesbrough made an encouraging start as he claimed the first game 15-13, but the 22-year-old then fell apart in going down 11-6, 11-7, 11-8.

Things didn’t get any better in the second singles match as 19-year-old Liam Pitchford also suffered a 3-1 defeat.

Once again the Briton made a strong start as the man from Chesterfield took the first game 11-9, but his far more experienced Portuguese rival hit back to win the next three games 11-5, 11-7, 11-8, with Pitchford on the unlucky end of some incredible rallies.

By the time Baggaley got the chance to influence the tie it was too late. He and Pitchford ran their opponents close in the third game of their doubles match, but they were ultimately blown away 11-5, 11-7, 11-9.