September 16 2014 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce
Thursday, August 7, 2014
Paddington’s teenage star Tin-Tin Ho has returned home with a silver medal after starring for England at the Commonwealth Games.
The 15-year-old, who lives in Upbrook Mews, was the youngest member of the national team and was appearing in her first senior tournament.
But she still secured a place on the podium after reaching the final of the mixed doubles tournament alongside Liam Pitchford, with the pair eliminating the no1 seeds from Singapore 3-2 in the process.
The duo initially went 2-0 down against their compatriots Paul and Joanna Drinkhall in an all-English gold medal match, but fought back to level the match at 2-2.
Ho and Pitchford went down 11-5 in that deciding game, but a silver medal was a welcome consolation prize.
Ho, who used to attend St Joseph’s Catholic School in Maida Vale, started playing table tennis at the age of five and trains for around two hours a day, six days a week.
She told Ham&High Sport: “I’m really happy, it’s all been worthwhile. The team were really nice and they all looked after me and it was such a great experience.
“I was at an exhibition at Canary Wharf on Tuesday and people were asking ‘are you Tin-Tin Ho?’ They wanted to have photos with me, which was a bit strange but really cool as well.
“I’ll take each tournament as it comes but hopefully I can qualify for the Olympics in Rio. I think it’s realistic but it will be really tough.
“The next competition for me will be the UK School Games, which is a junior level tournament, in September, so I’ll focus on that for now.”
Ho was entered for four events at the Commonwealth Games and was part of the England side that reached the quarter-finals of the women’s team event.
With the clash against Malaysia all square at 2-2, Ho came to the table to contest the decider against Ng Sock Khim.
She won the first two games but lost the next two, and the tension rose as the all-important final game reached 9-9. Unfortunately Ho lost the next two points and England were out – but she bounced back in style to win her silver medal.
The 15-year-old also competed in the women’s doubles, going out in the last 16 against silver medallists Australia – and she made it into the last 32 in the singles, losing to the world no10 Yu Meng Yu (Singapore), who also secured silver in the end.
Ho was named Tin-Tin by her table tennis-mad father Charles, who wanted his daughter’s initials to reflect his favourite sport.
Indeed, Ho’s older brother is called Ping – and Charles is hugely proud to have a Commonwealth Games medallist in the family.
“I’m very happy because it’s just the beginning,” he said. “She has 10 to 15 years to go at a really high, international level. It was her first time in the Commonwealth Games and she always does her best.”