DRINKHALL Paul < Back  
Sport Table Tennis
CGA England   
Gender Men
Born 16 Jan 1990 in Loftus, ENG
Height1.75 m
Weight 80 kg
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Family Wife Joanna, son Douglas [2015], daughter Bonnie
Residence Addlestone, ENG
Occupation Athlete
Languages English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? He began playing table tennis at age seven in Cleveland, England.
Why this sport? His parents took him to watch his grandfather play in the local league. There was a table free so he picked up a bat and started playing. He took up the sport with his brother.
Name of coach Gavin Evans [national]
Handedness Right
General Interest
Nicknames Wiggy, The Wiggster, Pauli (baku2015.com, 19 Jun 2015; pauldrinkhall.com, 05 May 2014)
Hobbies Tennis, football, golf, mixed martial arts. (Facebook page, 06 Oct 2017)
Memorable sporting achievement Winning the gold medal with his wife Joanna in the mixed doubles at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. (baku2015.com, 19 Jun 2015)
Most influential person in career His parents, and coach Jai Yi Liu. (baku2015.com, 19 Jun 2015)
Hero / Idol US boxer Muhammad Ali, Swiss tennis player Roger Federer. (pauldrinkhall.com, 05 May 2014; baku2015.com, 19 Jun 2015)
Injuries In 2013 he suffered a hip injury and underwent surgery in July 2013. He was unable to train for six months and was out of competition for a year. (bbc.co.uk, 28 Apr 2014; baku2015.com, 19 Jun 2015)

He broke his arm at age six. (pauldrinkhall.com, 20 Aug 2010)
Sporting philosophy / motto "Play to win, rather than playing not to lose." (tabletennisdaily.co.uk, 21 Oct 2013)
Famous relatives His wife Joanna Drinkhall is also a professional table tennis player and competed at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. His older brother Bryn has represented England in table tennis. (Instagram profile, 02 Aug 2020; olympic.org, 2018; gazettelive.co.uk, 15 Jul 2014; Facebook page, 06 Oct 2017)
Ambitions To reach at least the quarterfinal stage at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (tabletennisengland.co.uk, 08 Jul 2021)
Other information LATE REPLACEMENT
At the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo he was added to the draw two weeks before the Games after the withdrawal of Belarus player Vladimir Samsonov through injury. He was the next eligible athlete on the world rankings. "Obviously, I'm very pleased and kind of surprised. It's a shame for Vladi that he's had to withdraw, he was going for his seventh Olympics and is a table tennis legend, so it's a shame that it's come to me like that, but it's good that I'm in a position where I'm next in line and I'm happy the BOA [British Olympic Association] okayed me to take that spot. I'm looking forward to the challenge and aiming to do better than last time in Rio [2016 Olympic Games]. I'm happy to be going to Tokyo to, hopefully, represent Britain well." (tabletennisengland.co.uk, 08 Jul 2021)

He went to the People's Republic of China at age 11 to learn how the nation's players approach the game. "It was a real life experience and it really helped my table tennis in terms of getting quicker and better. I had a Chinese coach shortly after that and I worked with him until I was 22 or 23. So I have always had a big Chinese influence in my game and it has certainly helped me." (rio2016.com, 19 Nov 2015)