Table tennis star Smith puts her studies ahead of international career
TEEN table tennis star Vicky Smith has mothballed England glory while she carves herself out a career.
Smith, who is currently taking AS levels, was mulling over whether she could play at international level and still pass her exams.
The teenager has now confirmed she has dropped her England aspirations to pursue a career in medicine.
Her father, John, did not rule out the possibility of his daughter returning to the England fold in the future.
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John said: "She's still playing in the Junior British League and locally for Woolwell and she's doing well in both.
"She's played a bit, but it's more likely she will concentrate on her exams.
"Vicky's taken a step back. She's been the junior number one and she's carried the Olympic torch ahead of the London Games this summer, which are not bad high points.
"But she made the decision about not playing for England because of the commitment involved.
"She wants to get a degree in medicine and she's going to have to work really hard for that.
"Vicky has taken a step back from table-tennis, but it's not really upsetting for her.
"She's still playing at quite a high level and if she decides to go back, she will be very competitive.
"One day, she might go back to international matches – you never know what might happen."
Smith is a student at Devonport High School for Girls, and her father said: "She missed a few days off school because she was travelling all over Europe.
"She didn't want to continue with the England squad, which was a bit of a shock to me, but once that's worn off, I can understand it, as she's got to give her exams 100 per cent commitment."
During the summer, Vicky herself admitted she was considering giving up her international table tennis career.
The teenager said her performances for England in the European Championships in Austria last year had been a disappointment.
Vicky, however, shone in the French, Polish and Czech Open tournaments.
She also won a gold medal with the South West team at the Schools Championships, held at the ExCel Centre in east London.