Ella Pashley reached the quarter-finals of the girls’ singles, while the squad also brought home the Fair Play Award as the ISF World Schools Gymnasiade in Rio came to a close.
The individual events were tough for the English players as China dominated, winning all eight of the groups in which they had an athlete, across the two gender groups.
Pashley took second place in her group thanks to victories over opponents from Bulgaria, Nepal and Serbia. That put her into a preliminary round match, where she defeated Andreea Baiasu of Romania – an opponent she had lost to in the team event – 3-0 (11-5, 11-9, 11-5).
Her run ended at the hands of Jiayi Yuan of China in three in the quarter-finals.
Sienna Jetha had two victories as she finished third in her group – defeating Nepalese and Portuguese opponents but losing to athletes from Brazil and China.
Naomi Coker lost to her Chinese adversary and also to Baiasu, but beat Bulgarian and Serbian opponents to also finish third, while Jonabel Taguibao was also third, losing out to Romanian and Brazilian opponents but defeating Bulgarian and Serbian competitors in the only group not to feature a Chinese.
In the boys’ event, Ralph Pattison, who was under the weather, lost 14-12 in the decider to Robert Podar of Romania and also went down to Brazilian and Chinese opponents, but picked up a win over Serbia’s Janko Stanojevic.
Isaac Kingham had victories over Serbian and Portuguese opponents, but defeats to Brazilian and Chinese athletes saw him finish third in the group, with the top two going through.
Max Radiven missed out on countback, having beaten a Romanian opponent but lost to a host nation player. All three players lost to the Chinese who topped the group.
Kacper Piwowar beat Serbia’s Nikola Vranjanec but was defeated in his other three matches.
In the mixed ‘Friendship Bounce’ competition for those athletes who did not reach the quarter-finals, Jetha and her Romanian partner won and Piwowar and his Brazilian partner were runners-up.
At the end of the competition, England boys were presented with their team bronze, while the girls narrowly missed a medal, finishing fourth.
English umpire Ollie Ingram also had his moment in the spotlight, umpiring the boys’ singles final.
The squad also took part in a number of cultural activities and tours of Rio.
Attention now turns to the 2024 competition, which will be in Bahrain for the 16-18 age group.