Table tennis protege Marcus Giles waved goodbye to the youth ranks in style, but knows the hard work starts now.
The Kingston 14-year-old lived up to his top billing to win the National Table Tennis Championship cadet boys singles title in Hatfield in November.
The Hollyfield School, seeded number one for the event, beat Lincolnshire’s Tom Jarvis 11-9 11-13 11-7 11-7 in a thrilling final to secure the biggest win of his career.
Giles leaves the U15s age category and steps up to the U18s next year and was relieved to sign off in style.
“This is my biggest win and it was a bit of a relief when I won really,” he said.
“I knew that if I just gave it my best then that should be enough to win.
“I have the Masters tournament coming up next where the top 12 in the country play off against each other, so I have to train for that.
“Next year I’ll be in the U18s for the Nationals and will have to work hard to get in the top 12 for the U18s Masters.
“It is a big step up to play boys much older than me.”
Giles could have added the doubles crown to his collecting, but rival Jarvis gained some revenge for his singles defeat as he and partner Luke Savill beat Giles and his team-mate Hugo Pang 11-9 11-8 10-12 6-11 7-11.
“We were two games up and gave it away a bit. I don’t know what happened,” added Giles.