Further Personal Information
Sport Specific Information
|When and where did you begin this sport?
||He began playing table tennis at primary school at age nine.
|Why this sport?
||It was a rainy day and he was looking for something to do with his friends. "We had a lunchtime table tennis club and I went along with two friends and it started from then."
|Name of coach
||Gavin Evans [national], GBR
||Pitch, Pitchy (baku2015.com, 18 Jun 2015)
|Memorable sporting achievement
||Beating world number one ranked men's singles player [at the time] Xu Xin at the 2020 Qatar Open in Doha. (skysports.com, 30 Mar 2020)
|Most influential person in career
||His parents, and English table tennis player Colin Deaton. (baku2015.com, 18 Jun 2015)
|Sporting philosophy / motto
||"Fail to prepare, prepare to fail." (ttf-liebherr-ochsenhausen.de, 2016)
|Awards and honours
||He was named Most Valuable Player [MVP] of the 2017 Ultimate Table Tennis League in India. (tabletennisengland.co.uk, 22 Aug 2017)
In 2011 he was named University of Derby Sportsperson of the Year at the Derbyshire Sports Awards in England. (chesterfieldpost.co.uk, 15 Nov 2011)
He won the British Olympic Association's table tennis Olympic Athlete of the Year award in 2010 and 2011. (etta.co.uk, 21 Dec 2011; tabletennisengland.co.uk, 21 Dec 2011)
||To win a medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (sportstar.thehindu.com, 01 Apr 2020)
||MENTAL HEALTH STRUGGLE
Ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro he was diagnosed with depression. He said he considered quitting the sport in 2015. "When I first spoke to somebody about it I kind of broke down. After that, the weight was lifted off my shoulders and then I could start to rebuild. I'm just glad that I got the help I did and I'm quite proud that I managed to get to where I am now. I think it's definitely shaped me into the man I am and the player I am. I wasn't enjoying playing at the time [in 2015]. I would be alone in my flat in Germany and just not doing anything. I didn't want to be there, and once I got into that mentality it was very hard to get out. It was the end of 2015 when I first spoke to psychologists and honestly I didn't know if I wanted to continue to play table tennis. I didn't know if I enjoyed it any more. And then when I could go to a tournament with England and be with people I enjoyed being around, I realised this is what I wanted to do." (bbc.co.uk, 22 Jan 2020; olympics.com, 19 Nov 2020)