14 Apr 2017

Notable names, Australia’s Melissa Tapper and Andrea McDonnell on duty at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, remained unbeaten on the opening day of play, Thursday 13th April, at the 2017 Oceania Para Championships in Suva, Fiji.

Competing in Women’s Singles Class 10, neither endured any troubled times; however, there were surprises, the unexpected names to end the day without experiencing defeat being the host nation’s Merewalesi Roden, Australia’s Chen Junjian and Tuvalu’s Iokaba Taubakoa.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Competing in Women’s Singles Class 2-5, Merewalesi Roden secured first position in her group and thus a semi-final place by beating Australia’s Amanda Tscharke, the no.2 seed (11-6, 11-6, 11-2). Defeat for Australia but in the corresponding group it was success; Lisa Di Toro duly topped her group without experiencing defeat.

However, the player to attract the greatest attention was from Australia; the fourth listed player in a Men’s Singles Class 2-3 group organised event, Chen Junjian beat the three higher listed names.

Impressively, he overcame New Zealand’s James Goulding, the top seed (9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-3), in addition to colleague Steven Gow (11-7, 11-7, 11-13, 11-5) and Fiji’s Nafitalai Bai (11-3, 11-1, 11-4).

Similarly, in Men’s Singles Class 4-5, Tuvalu’s Esekia Vaega attracted the attention; he beat Fiji’s Jope Kikau, the no.3 seed (9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7), prior to overcoming the Solomon Island’s Shadrack Timothy (11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7) to top the group. A surprise first place but not in the other two groups; it was pole position for Australia’s Caleb Crowden and Fiji’s Iokaba Taubakoa.

Meanwhile, in the remaining categories, it was first place for the principal names.

In Women’s Singles Class 6-8, a group organised event, Australia’s Rebecca Julian remained unbeaten, as in Men’s Singles Class 6-7 did colleagues Trevor Hirth and Jake Ballestrino.

Likewise in Men’s Singles Class 8-9, Australia’s Barak Mizrachi and Nathan Pellissier secured first places in their groups; a feat also achieved bu New Zealand’s Victor Kamizona.

Play in the individual events concludes on Friday 14th April.

2017 Oceania Para Championships: Latest results (Thursday 13th April)

Paralympics Para Table Tennis 2017 ITTF Oceania Cup & Junior Championships Chen Junjian Merewalesi Roden Esekia Vaega