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Kensal Green table tennis star Awolaja qualifies for National Championships

PUBLISHED: 08:00 14 January 2020

Kensal Green table tennis player Israel Awolaja. Picture: CHRIS RAYNER PHOTOGRAPHY

Kensal Green table tennis player Israel Awolaja. Picture: CHRIS RAYNER PHOTOGRAPHY

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Kensal Green table tennis player Israel Awolaja has qualified to join the best players in England at the National Championships.

The 19-year-old finished seventh at the qualifying tournament at the David Ross Sports Village in Nottingham, where a top-10 finish was needed to book a place at the Nationals.

He will now compete alongside the top-22 ranked senior English players at the same venue from February 28 to March 1 and could earn a plum draw against one of England's leading players, including either of the 2018 Commonwealth Games doubles gold medallists Liam Pitchford or Paul Drinkhall.

Second seed seed Awolaja, who got through after a series of group matches and positional play-offs, said: "I came with the aim of qualifying and I did so, so I'm happy.

"I'm excited to play in the Nationals again because it is always good experience being able to play against some of the best players in the country.

"I'd love to get to play a match against (Rio Olympian) Sam Walker because I feel like it would be a really good match for me to play."

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