29 May 2017

The teams from the Oceania region put on a strong display on the opening day of matches at the Liebherr 2017 World Table Tennis Championships.

by Wade Townsend 

Tahiti and Australia brought out the best side of the Oceania region today in Düsseldorf.

Ocean Belrose and Tearo Le Caill did Tahiti proud as they took the opening game in their mixed doubles match on Table 1 in the first round of matches.

Going in to the event, Belrose had the game plan of going after some trick shots. He stuck to the plan, letting the ball drop and looking for some massive curve balls. It looked to be paying off. But after losing the second game in deuce, the pair eventually went down to their Tunisian opponents.

“This was our first time playing together, so it was a little difficult. Plus  playing on centre court was both stressful and impressive.” Ocean Belrose

Australia’s Kane Townsend was able to be on the right side of two matches that went the full distance. He came from 1-3 behind to beat Mongolia’s Erdenbauer Chinbat (11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 13-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-5). While in his Men’s Doubles match with Israel’s Michael Tauber, it was a 3-2 win against Lithuania.

Usually for doubles, both are southpaw players. It’s an unorthodox combination but it may pay dividends.

“We are both the same age and we are both left-handers. With two left-handers it can be very awkward, but also very effective.” Kane Townsend

Could the pair be the next Gatien and Chila?

But not everything could go Australia’s way, with Sarah Tan going down in seven games against Ana Tofant (SLO). A 3-1 lead evaporated, and with two edges at crucial points in the final game perhaps left Tan wondering if Townsend had stolen some of her luck.

David Powell meanwhile kept a clean sheet on the opening day, and looks on course to top his group. But it isn’t all easy sailing. The Australian team is here without any coaches, and are having to manage themselves, sharing the responsibilities between the team members.

 “We are all looking out for each other here and making sure that the team has the best chances for success. ” David Powell

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Liebherr 2017 World Championships Kane Townsend Ocean Belrose Sarah Tan