Table tennis

Josh Reynolds
Josh Reynolds

Halifax umpire Josh Reynolds shared the spotlight with the world’s best players when he officiated at table tennis’s Team World Cup final in London.

The 24-year-old was one of the two officials who took charge of the women’s final between China and Japan at the Copper Box Arena on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Reynolds is currently undergoing a period of assessment to become a Blue Badge Umpire – the highest international qualification.

He acknowledged the chance to officiate some of the best players in the world was an important part of his learning process.

Reynolds said: “It was a nervous experience but a good one. You’ve got to enjoy it while you’re doing it.

“You just forget about the crowd once the lights go dark – all you can see is the table and that’s what your mind is focused on.

“I’ve never done a major final before, and you realise how important it is to get things right, including all the presentation aspects and how you deal with the players.”

Reynolds showed a yellow card to China’s world No 2 Zhu Yuling for taking too long over a serve against world No 4 Kasumi Ishikawa, a decision Zhu agreed was justified when she was asked about it after the match.

China won 3-0, claiming the Team World Cup for an amazing 10th time in 11 stagings of the competition.

Just to underline China’s dominance, they also won the men’s final for the seventh successive World Cup, again beating Japan 3-0 in the final.

Reynolds was part of an international team of umpires, joining colleagues from England, Portugal, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, South Korea, Italy and Japan.

He is now focusing on further opportunities at an international level.

He said: “I want to finish the blue badge and ultimately I’d like to go to an Olympics.”

Reynolds is an accountant who lives near Halifax town centre.