Proud by name, proud by nature -- that’s a rising star of the Blitz table tennis club in Gainsborough after she landed her first national title.
Darcie Proud took the U13 girls’ doubles honour with her playing partner, Ruby Chan, at the national championships, held in Preston.
And she almost added the singles title too, just going down in the final against the number one seed, Jasmine Wong.
In the doubles, Darcie and Ruby sailed into the final with a comfortable 3-0 win over Illyssa Lacourte and Anaya Patel in the semis.
And they repeated such dominance by dropping only 16 points in a commanding 11-2, 11-6 11-8 straight-sets triumph over Gemma Kerr and Holly Smithson to be crowned national champions.
In the singles, England player Darcie was seeded number three and enjoyed a wonderful run to the final. She powered through the group stages and early rounds without dropping a set before winning an epic semi-final against the second seed, Gemma Kerr. Twice she had to fight back to level before she took the match in the last set, 6-11 11-6 9-11 11-9 12-10, for an epic victory.
The final proved a step too far for Darcie against the talented Wong. But she went down fighting 3-1 after levelling the match at one stage, and her Blitz coach, Paul Johnson, was justifiably proud of her achievements.
“To come away with a gold and silver medal represents a fantastic national championships for Darcie,” said Johnson.
Today (Thursday) is national table tennis day, and Blitz are one of many clubs across the country taking part in the celebrations by promoting the sport.
The Gainsborough club is holding a social table tennis session from 6.30 pm to 9 pm this evening at their academy venue, and anyone who would like to try out the sport is welcome to go along. A spokesman said: “No matter how much or how little you have played before, we cater for all, whatever your age. We also hold coaching sessions on top of our normal club nights.”
In particular, Blitz would like to see as many beginners as possible. More details can be found on the club’s Facebook page.