Brian’s world silver

Brian Hill.
Brian Hill.

Brian Hill has won silver at the World Veteran Table Tennis Championships in Spain.

Competing in the men’s 70-74 years section, the Wyberton resident missed out on gold in Alicante after being pipped 3-1 in the final by Denmark’s Niels Ramberg, despite taking an early lead.

This is the second time Brian, 71, has taken runners-up spot in the competition, following his silver medal in New Zealand two years ago.

And Brian says this has only made him more determined to try to scoop gold in Las Vegas in 2018.

“I’m very proud to win silver, it was a wonderful tournament,” Brian said.

“But I would like to try to win it in two years’ time.

“Who knows?”

The World Veterans Championships is the biggest table tennis event on the globe, with the IFA arena boasting 165 competition tables and 60 practice tables.

Brian - who also joined wife Audrey in volunteering to help organisers at the event - progressed through his group to reach the knockout stages.

There he defeated Ludovit Valarik (3-2), Karel Hrncirik (3-1) and Andre Amiaud (3-0) before opponent Jacques Versang pulled out of their semi-final contest after picking up an ankle injury.

He also reached the last 16 of the doubles with Swedish partner Lars Sandmark, before they were beaten.

Reaching the final was particularly pleasing for Brian after an elbow injury forced him out of action for a month in the build-up to the tournament.

Originally attempting to play through the pain barrier, Brian and Roy Norton won the over 70s doubles at the VETTS Masters event in Blackpool, but Brian was then forced to pull out of the singles and the following Masters event near Bristol.

He returned from injury in time to get some much-needed practice in at the Nationals at Wolverhampton, where he won the doubles with Sandmark but - still nursing his injury - was beaten in the singles final by Peter Radford.

However, Brian can still take great pride in being the nation’s number one-ranked over 70s player and number two in the world.