A Horsham school have been crowned national table tennis champions for the first time.
Tanbridge House School won the under-13 boys’ title at the 50th annual Butterfly School Team Championships in Leicester.
In a close competition, they beat Longfield Academy (Darlington) 5-3 and St Mary’s College (Hull) 7-1 and clinched the title with a 4-4 draw against London Academy, where Oliver Michell, 12, beat Shikhar Pandey to clinch the draw in the final match.
Alongside Oliver Michell in the squad were Charlie Graham-Jones, 12, Jacob Evans, 13, and Zac Hodges,11.
Graham-Jones said: “It feels brilliant to win. I think we won because of our team chemistry and the support we had from each other was brilliant as well.”
Their 14-year-old coach Will Michell said: “When we arrived, we weren’t sure if we could actually do it and win the final but we all pulled together to make it happen.”
Oliver Michell added: “We worked really hard and Will kept us calm and gave us great advice throughout the matches. We were so pleased to win and we all went for a celebratory dinner at the M40 services to celebrate.”
The achievement is also a fantastic achievement for Horsham Spinners Table Tennis Club with Graham-Adams, Hodges and Michell all members there, while Evans is part of Horsham Table Tennis Club.
London Academy were second, beating St Mary’s 7-1 and drawing 4-4 with Longfield, who were third having seen off St Mary’s 6-2). Last year representing Southwater Junior Academy, Graham-Adams, Hodges and Michell along with Sheel Malde (Horsham Spinners) won the under-11s event.
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