Chloe Thomas Wu Zhang disappointed after defeat in bronze medal playoff

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Chloe Thomas Wu Zhang disappointed after defeat in bronze medal playoff
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Crestfallen Chloe Thomas Wu Zhang lamented yet more table tennis heartbreak for Wales after a 3-0 defeat to Australia in the Commonwealth Games bronze medal match.

Wales failed to win a single game as Thomas Wu Zhang and Charlotte Carey lost the opening doubles 3-0 before 16-year-old sensation Anna Hursey and Carey went down by the same scoreline in the singles to leave all three in floods of tears with their dreams in tatters.

Less than 12 hours after Wales suffered an agonising 3-2 semi-final defeat to Malaysia on Sunday night, they were back at Birmingham’s NEC but unable to shake off the emotional hangover against strong opposition.

Tredegar’s Thomas Wu Zhang, who was part of the team that lost to Australia in the quarterfinals on the Gold Coast in 2018, said: “My feelings are everywhere now. It's been a very emotional four days for us. It's the first time we've ever been to a semi-final and a bronze play-off.

"We've made such an improvement from the previous Commonwealth Games. It's a massive step forward for us but it's a bit heart-breaking now. We gave it our all.

“There's been a lot of crying - good crying and sad crying.

“We've not been in those situations before. It was a quick turnaround. We had about five hours sleep last night, a late dinner. It was hard this morning."

This summer, Team Wales, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, compromises of over 200 athletes, all vying for medal success.

Thomas Wu Zhang, 28, is the oldest in the team and believes that despite falling short in their bid to win just Wales’ third Commonwealth Games medal in the sport that the experience will stand them in good stead.

She added: “Three out of the four countries in the semi-finals have all taken medals before at the Commonwealth Games.

“It's only us [that hasn't]. That just shows what we can do and hopefully at the next Games we'll be back there.

"Australia have got such an experienced team and we've still got quite a young team now. It'll motivate us.

"We came in as 14th seeds. It shows that we've taken a huge step forward."

Upon reflection Ebbw Vale’s Carey admitted the Malaysia marathon that lasted three-and-a-half hours was their best shot at the podium.

Carey, whose family have been a constant presence in the crowd with her face emblazoned on personalised T-shirts, said: “I'm devastated but the real heartbreak was last night, losing out against Malaysia.

“We knew we had more of a chance against Malaysia, that was the one chance we got. We were prepared. They just had that bit more experience.

“It was a tough one because we are still really hurt from last night. Australia was always going to be a tough ask, I thought they were going to be here trying to win the gold.

“We tried to give it our all, but we just weren’t good enough today.”

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