Worksop table tennis star Sam Walker has set his sights on bringing home a medal from the European Youth Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
Walker, the National Junior Champion and National Under 21 Champion, recently marked his 18th birthday with his best ever career-win against India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta at the Commonwealth Championships in New Delhi.
Now, as he prepares to lead the English junior side at the EYC, he has set his sights on improving upon his performance from 2012 where he was narrowly beaten 12-10 in a dramatic seven-game encounter.
He said: “I was gutted in that match really because it was against a player from Portugal, Diogo Chen, who was, at that time ranked above me and I was 3-1 up and had a good chance of winning it.”
“Unfortunately in the last set I lost deuce in the seventh and I was gutted because he got a bit of luck in the end.”
“Hopefully this year I can improve on that and go for the medals.”
His career has blossomed this season after developing a new-found confidence that has seen him not only win an international competition in Malta, but also represent the senior England side for the first time at both the Commonwealth Championships and World Championships.
He explained: “I think the first tournament this season, the Serbian Open, was the first international tournament that I had got to the final of.”
“It was the first time I had won a singles medal in an international open and it really gave me the confidence to go on.”
The current season could end with an added bonus for the youngster who now resides mostly in Germany .
Should Walker perform well in the Czech Republic he will earn himself a place at the Junior World Championships in Morocco.
He said: “I played one Junior World Championships before when I was actually still a cadet, as a reserve.”
“Since then I’ve not been able to qualify for one so I’ve always been wanting to go to another.”