Delight for young Stevenage star as he lifts national table tennis title
- Credit: ALAN MAN
A young student from Stevenage has been crowned the national schools' table tennis champion.
Pablo Ramirez-Rioja, who goes to round Diamond Primary, claimed the U11 prize at the Butterfly Schools Individual Finals, hosted by Table Tennis England and held in Wolverhampton.
The 10-year-old was seeded second and made his way through group and knockout stages to face top seed Aarif Li of Warwickshire in the final.
It was a brilliant match as Ramirez-Rioja came from 2-1 down to win 11-6 10-12 9-11 11-5 11-9.
The champion also had a tight match in the quarter-finals, defeating Lewis Wu 12-10 in the fifth game before beating third seed Callum Pace 3-1 in the semis.
Ramirez-Rioja said: "It feels good. When the other person misses, a feeling of joy spreads over you and you’re glad and relieved.
"At the start, I felt I definitely had the potential to win but I knew it would be difficult because there are many good players, especially Callum in the semis.
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"And the final was really tough."