GWENT table tennis ace Charlotte Carey suffered disappointment today as Great Britain’s women lost to Spain in their World Olympic Team Qualification clash in Portugal.

Ebbw Vale’s Carey and team-mates Tin-Tin Ho and Maria Tsaptsinos made a promising start before going on to suffer a comprehensive 3-0 defeat in the best-of-five match tie.

The 23-year-old Carey, bidding to become the first Welsh table tennis player at an Olympic Games, has just one chance left to reach Tokyo 2020 when the singles qualifiers are held this spring.

Carey helped open proceedings in Gondomar, playing alongside Tsaptsinos in the opening doubles match against Sofia-Xuan Zhang and Galia Dvorak.

And the British duo began well, taking the first game 11-7 to establish an early lead – but it all went downhill from there.

The Spanish pair rallied to win the next game 11-7 and five consecutive points paved the way for another 11-7 scoreline in game three.

Britain battled to the last and saved three match points, but Zhang and Dvorak prevailed 11-8.

Things didn’t get any better for the GB trio as Ho slipped to a 3-0 loss to Maria Xiao in the first singles encounter, the Spaniard winning 11-9, 11-3, 11-8.

It was left to Carey to keep Britain in with a shout of an Olympic place.

Facing Dvorak for the first time, Carey lost the opening game 11-5, before making a positive start in the next.

She took a 3-0 lead only to lose five points on the spin, and then her serve came under the scrutiny of the Spanish referee.

Another 11-5 reverse was followed by an 11-6 loss in the third game.

“We were a little bit nervous at first because I think we were favourites, and it's not easy to play with the pressure, and it's not easy to start the game with doubles, but we refocused and managed to win,” said Dvorak.

“I was playing with the score at 2-0 which gave me more confidence. I just focused on my game properly and it worked.

“It's going to be the final match next, whoever wins qualifies, and everybody is so nervous so the focus will be the more important thing.”

Teams competing in Portugal could play up to three matches – effectively a quarter-final, semi-final and final.

The eight nations winning those finals will earn a place at the Olympics.

The nations which lose in the finals enter a repechage phase of knockout matches with the winner of that also going to Tokyo.

That means a total of nine men’s and nine women’s teams will qualify in Portugal and join the continental champions and hosts Japan to make up the final field of 16 at the Olympics.

If the GB women had qualified, they would have automatically received two singles places at the Olympics.

Individual players can still book their places through the singles qualifying process this spring.