Commonwealth Games display leaves Sibley feeling ‘proud’

Kelly Sibley and doubles partner David McBeath. Picture: Jono Searle/Getty Images
Kelly Sibley and doubles partner David McBeath. Picture: Jono Searle/Getty Images

Kelly Sibley feels she played some of the best table tennis of her career at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Although she was unable to add to the team bronze she won alongside Tin-Tin Ho, Maria Tsaptsinos and Denise Payet in week one, she said she was proud of her performance in Gold Coast.

That included a last-16 singles victory over India’s Madhurika Patkar, at 112 ranked 33 places above Sibley in the world. The Leamington athlete won that one 4-2 (11-9, 11-8, 2-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-6), having previously defeated Canada’s Alicia Cote 4-0 (11-3, 11-5, 11-4, 11-1) in the first round.

It put her into a quarter-final against No 1 seed and world No 4 Feng Tianwei of Singapore and she gave a good account of herself before being knocked out 4-0 (11-5, 11-9, 11-3, 14-12).

In the women’s doubles, Sibley partnered Payet and they lost 3-1 (8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-5) in the last 16 to Mo Zhang and Cote of Canada.

Sibley also featured alongside David McBeath in the mixed doubles and they began by defeating Muhammad Ashraf Haiq Rizal and Ai Xin Tee of Malaysia 3-0 (11-9, 11-6, 11-5) in the last 32. But they went out at the next hurdle, beaten 3-0 (11-5, 11-9, 11-9) by Achanta and Mouma Das of India.

Sibley, 29, said: “Our goal coming in was to get a medal in the team. On paper, we had an easy group but right from the word go we were all very sharp and at the top of our games.

“What we did well in all of our matches was taking it one point at a time and one ball at a time.

“For us to achieve that goal and to be part of the team which won our first women’s team medal was fantastic.

“I think I followed up my form into the singles and doubles and I feel I played some of the best table tennis of my career. It was important to play one ball at a time and to reset when I needed to reset and I wasn’t afraid to try to put in a good performance, and that’s what got me through that match against Patkar.

“Against Feng Tianwei I thought I put up a very good performance and kept going. I made her think about it a bit more and had set points. I thought I played good, high quality but she managed to sustain it for longer.

“Overall, I’m quite proud of my performance over the whole of the Games.”