Andrew Baggaley: Table tennis player questions Olympic legacy

Andrew Baggaley
Andrew Baggaley has won six Commonwealth Games medals

London 2012 Olympic table tennis player Andrew Baggaley says it is "strange" that minority sports have not capitalised on the Games.

The Milton Keynes-based 32-year-old was a 2012 bid ambassador and Games participant, but questioned its legacy.

"The country was so united in 2012 and everyone was going sport crazy, but it seems strange that no one's really capitalised on it," he told BBC Sport.

"Not only table tennis, but I'd like to see the other sports you don't see."

Figures released by Sport England show that while football, cycling, cricket and athletics have seen increased participation, badminton, bowls and basketball have experienced declining numbers.

Baggaley is England's most successful male table tennis player of all time at the Commonwealth Games, and believes the legacy of London 2012 has resulted in mixed fortunes for his sport.

"I think recreationally the 2012 legacy has been successful," he said. "My brother is a table tennis coach and he has masses of people coming to his sessions now.

"It's been incredible, but at the top level table tennis isn't seen. It needs big events on TV which will push it forward as a big sport."

Baggaley won the World Championship of Ping Pong earlier in 2015, and is ready to embark on the 2015-16 season with the Rio 2016 Olympics less than a year away.

"I've just come back from training in China. I feel sharp and I'm raring to go with the confidence of winning the Ping Pong tournament," he said.

"I want to give the 2016 Olympics a shot. I'll have to play the best table tennis of my life to see if I can get there.

"Age isn't really a concern as long as you're fit and healthy. I'm sharp, I feel fresh and I've been working physically hard."

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