by Wade Townsend
It was a golden day for team Australia as they walked away from the ITTF-Oceania Junior Championships making a clean sweep of gold medals in the team events.
The Australian junior boys team managed a perfect result, going the entire tournament without dropping a match. However, the perfect record was almost sullied by a tenacious New Zealand team.
In the gold medal match between the Aussies and Kiwis, the opening two encounters each went the full distance. Dean Shu (NZL) even saw himself with match points against Rohan Dhooria (AUS). However the New Zealand team was left thinking about what could have been as Australia held their nerve and secured the match 3-0.
Meanwhile, Papau New Guinea were able to secure bronze. It is a historic moment as it is the nation’s first medal at an ITTF-Oceania Junior Championships.
In the Junior Girls’, Australia found themselves once again on top of the podium.
“The kids showed amazing resilience during the two days of competition and we always knew New Zealand was going to be a tough opponent.” Jenny Langridge, Australian Girls’ Team Coach
It wasn’t all smooth sailing though, and the nations in the Pacific Islands are starting to cause some stormy weather.
“Fiji and New Caledonia really put up a challenge for us. The girls had to be on their game the whole time. There have been no free rides this week.” Jenny Langridge, Australian Girls’ Team Coach
With the cadet medals secured earlier in the day, Australia will be going in to the singles events hot favourites to secure all the titles. Who can stop them?