Double medal delight for Hartlepool table tennis starlet

Hartlepool table tennis player Joe Cope. Pic: Michael Loveder.
Hartlepool table tennis player Joe Cope. Pic: Michael Loveder.

Talented table tennis player Joe Cope had twice as many reasons to celebrate after winning two silver medals at an international competition.

The Hartlepool teenager and his family were ecstatic at his success in the British Senior Schools International event held in Worcester.

From left to right: Doubles medal winners Joe Cope, Sam Wilson, Josh Bennett, Gaurav Aravind , Israel Awolaja and Max Stevens. Pic: Michael Loveder.

From left to right: Doubles medal winners Joe Cope, Sam Wilson, Josh Bennett, Gaurav Aravind , Israel Awolaja and Max Stevens. Pic: Michael Loveder.

Joe, 16, from The Fens, took on the best young table tennis players from across the whole of the UK.

After a dramatic comeback in the Under 18s doubles semi-final, he and partner Sam Wilson claimed a silver medal.

And Joe came home with a second silver after reaching the final of the Under 16s singles event.

Proud mum Louise Ferguson said: “We were ecstatic that he got picked to play.

“It is a great event where he got to play players from different countries.

“The semi-final of the doubles was a tough match. He went down two games to nil straight away but came back to win three-two.

“It was nice to see him come back. He seems to go down in matches but he keeps on fighting all the way.”

Joe was cheered on at the event by Louise, her partner Mark Jeeves and Joe’s older brother Jack. His number one fan though is his grandad George Ferguson.

Joe, who has just completed his GCSEs at Manor Academy, is part of the England table tennis squad and trains once a month with top coaches.

In November, he scooped gold with England in a Home Countries International tournament. And last summer he was part of an England Boys team which won the Cadets Six Nationals gold medal at a tournament in the Netherlands.

Joe aims to continue his rise through the game all the way to represent Great Britain in the Olympics.

Louise added: “His aim is to get as far as he can. Certainly the Olympics is his goal.

“Whether it will be the 2020 games we don’t know yet.”