Paul Drinkhall

Loftus, Middlesbrough

Paul Drinkhall

Loftus, Middlesbrough


Paul has been at the top level of the game for well over a decade, first coming to prominence as European champion at Junior level and as silver medallist at the World Junior Championships. His achievements made him twice runner-up in the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award.

In the senior ranks, Paul became the first English winner of a World Tour event since 1996 when he won the 2014 Spanish Open, and later that year he and wife Jo were on the top step of the mixed doubles podium at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Paul ended that year as Russian Open finalist and with a place at the ITTF Grand Finals.

The following year, he was beaten in the bronze medal match at the inaugural European Games, while in 2016 he won the World Team Championships bronze medal alongside Liam Pitchford and Sam Walker.

The trio, with David McBeath and Tom Jarvis also in the squad, then added Team World Cup bronze on home soil in 2018 at the Copper Box Arena on London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

He won a second Commonwealth Games gold at the 2018 edition of the Games in Australia, alongside Liam Pitchford in the Men’s Doubles, and in 2019, Paul became the first English player to win two World Tour events, winning the Serbia Open. His third Commonwealth gold medal was won in Men’s Doubles at Birmingham 2022 alongside Liam Pitchford, where he also won bronze in the team men’s event. At the same Games he narrowly missed winning bronze in the men’s singles.

Paul is one of only three players to have represented Team GB at three Olympic Games. At London 2012, he reached the last 32 in the singles while, at Rio 2016, he reached the last 16 of the singles and was part of the team which reached the quarter-finals. Paul qualified for his third Olympic Games in Tokyo, reaching the last 32 of the Men’s Singles.

Paul was elected to the ETTU Athletes’ Commission in 2018. He and Jo have a son, Dougie, and a daughter, Bonnie.

Major appearances and career highlights

Commonwealth GamesBirmingham2022Men’s Doubles gold (with Liam Pitchford);
Men’s Team bronze
Men’s Singles fourth place
Olympic GamesTokyo2020 (21)Men’s Singles last 32
Qatar Open2020Men’s Doubles silver (with Liam Pitchford)
Serbia Open2019Men’s Singles champion
Commonwealth GamesGold Coast2018Men’s Doubles gold (with Liam Pitchford); Men’s Team bronze
ITTF Team World CupLondon2018Men’s Team bronze
Olympic GamesRio2016Men’s Singles last 16; Men’s Team quarter-finals
ITTF World Team ChampionshipsKuala Lumpur2016Men’s Team bronze
Commonwealth GamesGlasgow2014Mixed Doubles gold (with Jo Drinkhall); Men’s Team silver
Spanish Open2014Men’s Singles champion
Russian Open2014Men’s Singles silver
Olympic GamesLondon2012Men’s Singles last 32; Men’s Team first round
Commonwealth GamesDelhi2010Men’s Team silver; Mixed Doubles bronze (with Jo Parker)
Commonwealth GamesMelbourne2006Men’s team 5th place