23 Feb 2018

A distinction to cherish, 27 year old Melissa Tapper is the first Australian to compete in the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in same year; she featured in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

An integral member of the Australian team for the forthcoming 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast: in London it was her second appearance in the ITTF Team World Cup in London. She made her debut in 2015 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates..

by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer

Alas for Australia it was third place in the initial stage group behind Chinese Taipei and Romania and thus elimination.

“It was a good experience competing in such a top class tournament because it is only the best in each continent that take part in this kind of tournament. You have the opportunity to play strong matches which toughens you. It is a high level competition; it is not like the World Team Championship where you have large number of teams.” Melissa Tapper

A spirited effort from Melissa Tapper for whom to a great extent it was a learning experience and a measure of progress.

“From this tournament, I noticed some areas that I need to improve. There is a gap between us and other teams. We can only close the gap by attending such tournaments like this. I am personally so excited attending this championship in readiness for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. For us as a team, it is such a good opportunity to gain experience ahead of the Gold Coast Games in April this year.” Melissa Tapper

Competing in class Women’s Singles Class 10 at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Melissa Tapper finished in the dreaded fourth place, just one step short of a medal; in London she did not advance to the latter stages.

However, she stressed that playing against able bodied athletes is similar to playing in her Para class; she is hoping to have more opportunities to compete against the best in world class tournaments.

Paralympics Para Table Tennis World Cup 2018 ITTF Team World Cup Melissa Tapper

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Day 4 - 2018 ITTF Team World Cup