Entering the event with the goal of reaching the knock-out stage, he was first up against last year’s Irish No.1 table tennis player Paul Mcreery in his first round match, and although he lost the first set, soon levelled the tie up. The third and last game began well for Eli as he moved into a 3-1 lead, but a net call interrupted his flow. Mcreery’s confidence began to grow, with Baraty eventually losing 15-11.
Despite this setback, Baraty bounced back in his next game, a relatively easy match against the Moldavian no.1, which he won 2-0. He then faced an unknown entity in a new Chinese qualifier, and this was a ‘must-win’ in order to advance into the knock-out stage. He quickly took the first set 11-8, and although finding himself 5-1 down in the second, kept fighting and recovered to win the match 15-13.
Through to the last 32, he then faced England’s no.3, commonwealth gold medalist and world no.5 ping pong player Andrew Baggaly. His first time on the show court, nerves and tension was natural as he played in front of almost 3,000 spectators. Off to a bad start, he couldn’t find a way back in the first set, somethign which occured in the second. Baggaly dictated and controlled the tempo of the match winning 2-0, though Baraty will no doubt take the experience from this year’s event, and come back stronger next year.