Impressive performances, Australia’s Chen Junjian, Nathan Pellissier and Lisa di Torro justified their top seeded status at the ITTF Oceania Para Championships 2023 in Honiara, Solomon Islands; in so doing they established their names amongst the most successful ever in the tournament that dates back a decade to 2013.
Furthermore, alongside all gold medallists, they gained places in the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.
On Saturday 18th November, the second day of action, in the men’s singles, Chen Junjian won class 3, Nathan Pellissier class 8; in the counterpart women’s singles, Lisa Di Torro prevailed in class 2-5.
Each has now claimed Oceania gold on three occasions; Chen Junjian made it three in a row having won in Suva in 2017 and Darwin in 2019. Nathan Pellissier also won in 2017, having succeeded in the inaugural event a decade ago in Canberra.
Meanwhile, Lisa di Torro repeated her Darwin success, previously she had won in 2015 in Bendigo.
The trio now match compatriot Melissa Tapper, successful in 2013, 2015 and 2019; in Honiara she concluded play just one step short of a record fourth. In the final of women’s singles class 7-10, she was beaten by Yang Qian (11-9, 11-7, 13-11).
One round earlier, Yang Qian had prevailed in the contest involving Tokyo 2020 gold medallists; she ended the progress of Lei Li Na (11-8, 11-2, 11-7).
A successful debut for Yan Qian, it was the same for teammates Ma Lin and Christopher Addis.
Gold medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Ma Lin added to his list of accolades. He won men’s singles class 9-10. Conversely Chrisopher Addis recorded a landmark win, his first major title; he prevailed in men’s singles class 4.
Titles for Australia; also, there was success for Tuvalu and New Zealand.
On duty for Tuvalu, Ioane Hawaii, bronze medallist in 2017, won men’s singles class 5; representing New Zealand, Matthew Britz claimed the men’s singles class 6-7 crown.
Australians prominent, it was the same scenario as proceedings concluded; Nathan Pellissier partnered Ma Lin to men’s doubles class 14-18 gold and Lei Li Na to mixed doubles class 17-20 success.
Similarly, Chen Junjian combined to win mixed doubles class 7-10 in harness with Lisa di Torro.
Play completed in Honiara, attention now turns to Nakhon Ratchasima, in Thailand, the World Ability Sport Games 2023 commences on Wednesday 6th December.