SCOTTISH No.1 Gavin Rumgay lost out in the quarter-finals of the World Championship of Ping Pong at London's Alexandra Palace last night but boosted his bank balance by $3000.

For the second successive year, Rumgay battled through to the last eight but this time lost out to German Alexander Flemming

after a titanic battle 15-11, 12-15, 12-15.

The Scot had booked his place in the quarter-finals when he held his nerve to beat Martin Groenewold from the Netherlands 10-15, 15-13, 15-14 to guarantee a cheque for at least $3000.

Rumgay, playing in the event for the third time, enjoyed the support of a bus-load of fans from Scotland who were willing to go all the way and claim the $20,000 first prize.

He came through his group without dropping a game, beating Malta's top female player Viktoria Lucenkova 2-0 in his opening group match and followed up with a 2-0 win over former American Olympic player Jim Butler.

Rumgay went on to beat Poland's Filip Syzmanski 2-0 in the last 32 to set up his epic match with Groenewold.

It is rare for Rumgay to face a female player but he believes the tournament - which features traditional sandpaper bats - is a great leveller.

"It's a bit like tennis. In the men's game, if you take away the serve at 140mph then you'll find there's not such a gap between the men and women," he said.

"That's what you find in this game, the women seem to have much faster reactions than the men. They stay close to the table, where we've got to chase further back. It's the top 64 in the world but there are two or three women who do merit being in there because of the different styles."

Scotland's other representative Charlie Ellis lost out at the group stages, going down 2-0 to Slovakia's Lubomir Pistej and then 2-0 to Norway's Istvan Moldovan.