Kelly Sibley believes England’s performances at their home Team World Cup can be a springboard to success at the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
England were eliminated in the group stage of the event at the Copper Box Arena on London’s Olympic Park, having been drawn against third seeds Hong Kong and sixth seeds Singapore.
Ranked last of the 12th competing nations, it was always going to be a tough task for England, and so it proved as they were beaten 3-0 by Hong Kong in the first match.
Sibley and Maria Tsaptsinos put up a good fight in the doubles before losing 3-1 (11-3, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7) to Lee Ho Ching & Soo Wai Yam Minnie, and Doo Hoi Kem, ranked ninth in the world, then beat Tin-Tin Ho 3-0 (11-3, 11-8, 14-12).
Sibley, ranked 188th in the world, faced number 25-ranked Minnie in the third match and a heavy 3-0 (11-3, 11-3, 11-3) defeat ended the tie.
Against Singapore, Sibley & Tsaptsinos lost the doubles 3-0 (11-4, 11-2, 11-8) to Feng Tianwei and Yu Mengyu.
Ho levelled for England with a 3-1 (8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6) scoreline against Zhang Wanling but despite an improved performance, Sibley was beaten 3-1 (11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 11-9) by Mengyu.
Tianwei’s victory over Ho then ended England’s competition.
Sibley said: “Against Hong Kong, I thought as a team we performed really well. We tried to stick to our gameplan but we were playing some of the best players in the world, so it’s very difficult.
“We took a lot from our performance against Hong Kong and took it into the practice hall and I believe we stepped it up against Singapore but again, they are one of the best teams in the world.
“We gave it a good shot and put up a fight. Tin-Tin won her singles and I was very positive going in at 1-1 and my singles could have gone either way.
“Overall, a positive performance with our goal of the Commonwealth Games in a few weeks.”
The competition was won by China for the tenth time, beating Japan 3-0 in the final.