England miss out on World glory despite Sibley scalp

Kelly Sibley in World Team Championship action. Picture: ITTF
Kelly Sibley in World Team Championship action. Picture: ITTF

Kelly Sibley won nine out of 11 matches as England’s women finished 33rd at the World Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur.

The Leamington ace led a squad also featuring Tin-Tin Ho and Karina Le Fevre to wins over Turkey (3-1), Belgium (3-1), New Zealand (3-0) and Canada (3-1) in their first four matches in the second division group stage.

They were then beaten 3-1 by the division’s top seeds Serbia in the final group match, with Ho picking up England’s point.

It meant a tie against Puerto Rico in the first play-off round and, despite Sibley’s two victories, England were beaten 3-2.

Sibley, ranked No 174 in the world, at least signed off in style, the second win coming against world No 100 Adriana Diaz.

And Sibley said: “From a personal point of view, I was quite happy with my performances and how I played.

“I had a good couple of wins, especially beating the girl from Puerto Rico, who’s top 100, but I’m disappointed we couldn’t carry on through the tournament and challenge for that promotion place.

“We knew it was going to be tough but as a team we all fought really hard and gave it our best and couldn’t do any more than we did.”