by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
In the Mixed Doubles event, the Australian duo had accounted for Uganda’s Ronald Nyaika and Halima Nambozo in their opening contest (11-6, 11-4, 11-6) but then returning to the fray some three hours later they were beaten Canada’s Eugene Wang and Zhang Mo (11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9).
Eugene Wang and Zhang Mo were able to cope most efficiently for what is a very unusual combination in the modern era; David Powell is very conventional using smooth reversed rubber on both sides of the racket but Miao Miao uses short pimpled rubber on the forehand and medium pimpled rubber on the backhand.
“Sometimes the fact that she uses the medium pimpled rubber on the backhand means the ball comes back short so that can be a problem. We have to stay close to the table. We have played together before; we won the National Championships in 2014.” David Powell.
There are few players at the current Commonwealth Games who are as safe in their play as Eugene Wang; a defeat in the Men’s Team event when facing Gao Ning but otherwise never really troubled.
“Playing in the main arena against players from the home country is always a test; really we should have won three-nil; we lost our focus in the third game. Earlier in the tournament Gao Ning played really well against me but perhaps he has more experience of competing in such tournaments than me.” Eugene Wang
A defeat for Australia but on the morning of the seventh day of action there was success.
In the Men’s Doubles event Heming Hu and Yan Xin beat the Barbados combination of Mark Dowell and Tyrese Knight (11-6, 11-6, 11-6); whilst in the Para Class 6-10 competition there were wins for Melissa Tapper, Andrea McDonnell and Barak Mizrachi.
Melissa Tapper, nailed on the win the Women’s Singles title, beat England’s Felicity Picard (11-6, 11-2, 11-1) in a contest where the difference in disability was far too great (11-6, 11-2, 11-1); meanwhile Andrea McDonnell accounted for Canada’s Stephanie Chan (11-5, 11-1, 11-3), in the Men’s Singles event Barak Mizracho overcame Nigeria’s Temitope Ogunsanya (11-6, 11-6, 11-6).