Table Tennis
Sibley secures Olympic spot

23/05 Updated: 23/05 16:07

BIRTHDAY girl Kelly Sibley received the perfect present when she was selected to represent Team GB in the London Olympics which start in July.

Sibley, who celebrated her 24th birthday on Monday, is the current England No 1 but the Leamington ace was sweating on her selection after suffering a hip injury which forced her to miss the final world Olympic qualification tournament in Qatar.

Sibley, who is also a national champion and won ten matches in a row at the 2011 European Championships in Poland to help the women’s team gain promotion to the top tier, was relieved to secure her place

She said: “I’m really, really pleased but it was a long day waiting for the decision. 

“The injury happened at the worst possible time and I had to pull out of Qatar which was disappointing. But I’ve seen massive improvement in the last two weeks. I’ll start full training on Tuesday.

“I’ve been doing really hard runs and bike sessions and I think I’ll be fully fit, if not stronger, when the Games begin.

“Every sports person will tell you it’s their dream to play in a home Olympic Games and as a GB athlete you couldn’t write it any better.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to share this moment with all of your friends and family.

“With the extra support we’ll get from the home crowd it will gee us up and intimidate our opponents – no-one is telling us we can’t do it at the Olympic Games.”

The players will now spend the next month in China at an intensive training camp designed to hone their skills ahead of the biggest event this summer. The camp in China will also include competing at the China Open which is one of the toughest competitions in the world.

Women’s head coach Alan Cooke said: “The players can now really focus on these last couple of months after working so hard over the last three to four years so it’s great to be in the last step.

They’ll get some momentum from their selection and I’m sure they’ll be excited when they get to London – the fever is building.”

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