TWO Horsham Table Tennis Club youngsters have been called up for the England Schools side after impressing at a top championships.
Vinal Patel and Daniel Barna will represent their country at next month’s English Schools Internationals, along with Katie Cheer - a Crawley TT member who also trains at the Elite Table Tennis Centre at Greenway School in Horsham.
Superb displays at the English Schools Championships in Doncaster saw Daniel reach the semi-final of the Under-16s and Vinal the semis of the Under-19s, while Katie made it all the way to the Under-13s final.
The reward for the trio is a place in the respective England Schools age groups for a home nations tournament held in Guernsey at the end of June.
Both Vinal and Daniel first had to come through local trials on February 18, to earn a place representing West Sussex at the English Schools Championships in Doncaster on April 21.
Daniel won his group and then beat Sam Cowan and fifth seed Daryl Gee before losing to Adam Harrison, the second seed in the semi-final.
Vinal beat second seed Jamie Davis and first seed Bradley Tuttle but lost to Michael Ho in the semis.
Daniel’s mother Maria said: “He was delighted, he didn’t believe he would ever represent England. Like every sports person he hopes to go and win the event but I dare say just to win some of his games would be good.
“This is the best he’s ever done in a schools event but he reached the final of a four-star event in Cheltenham in April so his game has definitely stepped up a level recently.”
The young Sussex stars are also getting ready to compete in the next of a series of competitions to be held at K2, Crawley on June 16 which is expected to be the strongest yet.
Pictured are (fron, from L to R) Daniel, Vinal and Katie with other table tennis players who train at Horsham’s Elite Centre.