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London Games the new target for Baggaley

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FOLLOWING his success at this year’s Commonwealth Games, table tennis ace Andrew Baggaley is turning his attention towards winning a medal at the London Olympics in two years time.

Baggaley added another two medals to his tally in Delhi - taking his career total to five - and did it despite suffering from a severe case of tonsillitis and gingivitis.

In fact the 27-year-old was so ill that he decided to pull out of the tournament a few days before he was due to fly out to India - only to change his mind after recovering sufficiently enough to travel.

And the decision paid off as he helped his England side to the final of the team event before reaching the semi-final of the men’s doubles.

Baggaley took silver in the team competition after England lost their final to Singapore, and bronze in the doubles with partner Liam Pitchford.

And after taking silver from the doubles in Melbourne in 2006 and gold in doubles and the team event in Manchester in 2002, Baggaley said he was more than happy with that - especially considering the circumstances that preceded the tournament.

“I wasn’t well at all. I was very ill for two weeks and lost around 8lbs in seven days,” explained Baggaley.

“It was a miracle I actually went out there. Just to get on the flight was amazing and to come back with two medals - well, I just can’t believe it.

“I called it off a few days before I was due to go, but then I pulled it back and found some energy - I thought I could do it.

“If it was any other tournament I wouldn’t have gone, but It’s only every four years and I knew I had a good chance to go out there and win something.”

Baggaley, who plays for Nice in the French Pro A table tennis League, grew up in Milton Keynes but has spent most of his adult life travelling around Europe, playing for clubs in Germany, Belgium, Sweden and Spain.

But the three-time English Men’s Singles National champion says he loves coming back to the city, and is determined to add to his medal success closer to home in 2012.

“Winning a medal at the Olympic Games is my aim, and I think I’ve got a realistic chance,” he said.

“I’ve got to improve, work on my game, play a lot of events and practice very hard. But I’ve got a chance to do something special in front of the home support.

“What I’ve done is amazing, but I still think I can go on and do more. You haven’t seen the best of me.”

 

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