30 Apr 2019

Gold medallist just over one year ago at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, the host nation’s Melissa Tapper is very much the name to note at the forthcoming Para Oceania Championships 2019; a four day tournament, play commences in Darwin on Wednesday 1st May.

Likewise, compatriot, Andrea McDonnell, the player Melissa Tapper beat in the women’s singles penultimate round on her way to the top step of the podium in the Gold Coast, is also on duty.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The task facing Melissa Tapper in Darwin is that of regaining her crown; she won women’s singles class 6-10 at the Oceania Para Championships in 2013 in Canberra and in 2015 in Bendigo.

Meanwhile, for Australia’s Chen Junjan, Caleb Crowden, Trevor Hirth and Nathan Pellissier alongside colleague Rebecca Julian and Fiji’s Merewalesi Vakacegu Roden, the task is to retain the hard earned titles won two years ago in Suva.

In the men’s singles events, Chen Junjan won class 2-3; Trevor Hirth secured the class 6-7 title, whilst Nathan Pellissier emerged the class 8-9 champion. Likewise, in the women’s singles competitions, Merewalesi Vakacegu Roden succeeded in class 2-5, Rebecca Julian in class 6-8.

However, if that is to happen, all will need to overcome adversaries striving for revenge.

Significantly in the men’s singles events, the runner up in 2017 in class 2-3, the name of New Zealand’s James Goulding appears on the entry list, as does that of Fiji’s Iakoba Taberanibou Taubakoa, the silver medallist in class 4-5; an event which could well witness a Suva repeat. Notably, bronze medallists Tuvalu’s Ioane Hawaii and Shadrack Timothy are on Darwin duty.

Similarly, respective silver and bronze medallists in Suva in class 6-7, Australia’s Jake Ballestrino and Yaser Hussaini are listed to compete, as are New Zealand’s Victor Kamizona and John Christopher, bronze medal winners in class 8-9 two years ago.

Aiming to better the efforts in Suva; it is the same in the women’s singles events. Silver medallist in class 2-5 Australia’s Amanda Tscharke is on duty in Darwin as is bronze medallist, also from the host nation, Lisa Di Toro. Likewise, silver medallist in Suva in class 6-8, Fiji’s Laniana Ere Serukalou, will be in action.

A total of 25 men and 13 women will compete at the 2019 Para Oceania Championships.

Para Oceania Championships 2019: Entries (Tuesday 30th April)

Paralympics Para Table Tennis Melissa Tapper Trevor Hirth Caleb Crowden Rebecca Julian Nathan Pellissier Merewalesi Vakacegu Roden Chen Junjan

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