Hartlepool schoolboy wins international tournament as part of England team
A Hartlepool schoolboy table tennis star is celebrating success after he and his team mates scooped international glory.
Manor Academy pupil Joe Cope, 15, was part of the England Boys team which won the Cadets Six Nationals gold medal at the tournament in the Netherlands.
In a close tournament, the boys beat Norway and Germany both 7-3 and drew their other three matches 5-5 against Sweden, Netherlands and Denmark.
It left them level with Sweden at the top of the standings, but with a superior win record as the Swedes’ two victories had both been by a 6-4 margin.
Joe and his team-mate Joshua Weatherby both won 10 of their 15 matches, whie Ethan Walsh triumphed in nine of 15 and Jamie Liu had a record of six from 15.
The girls team also managed to win bronze at the event.
Joe’s mum Louise spoke of her pride at her son’s latest achievement.
“They’re very proud and so are we of what they’ve done,” said Louise, 37.
“When they went there the plan was for them to get third place, but they’ve come out on top which is brilliant.
“The team that went out there is a very strong one with some good players.
“It was all down to their performance on the day and they’re all chuffed because they’ve done well all the way through.
“It’s nice that they’ve come away with a gold from their efforts even though it was very close with the Swedish team.”
Joe will soon be moving up a level in competing in the coming months, with the challenges he faces set to get harder.
“Joe finished with the cadets this month and he will then go into juniors.
“Hopefully he’ll be in the top 20 players in the country and we’ll see how he gets on from there.”
Joe, of Owton Manor, Hartlepool, first picked up a table tennis bat while on holiday with his family when he was just 18 months old.
He was inspired to play table tennis after watching his older brother Jack who is also a talented player.