Table tennis stars hit town

MORE than 80 of Oceania's elite table tennis players converge on Bendigo Stadium on Wednesday for the start of the Oceania Cup and Championships.

The six-day event has attracted competitors from 11 countries, with Australia favoured to to dominate the titles.

More than $20,000 in prizemoney is up for grabs in singles, doubles and teams events.

The Oceania Cup men's and singles events headline the championships.

The winners of those titles gain automatic entry to the World Cup.

Australian star William Henzell returns to Bendigo to defend the crown he won in 2013.

He's the number one seed this week, with countryman David Powell seeded number two.

Reigning women's champion Miao Miao from Australia is not playing this year.

New Zealand veteran Li Chun Li, 52, is the top seed in the women's singles. Australia's charge will be led by second seed Jian Fang Lay, third seed Zhenhua Dederko and fourth seed Melissa Tapper.

Players to watch at the tournament:

MEN

William Henzell (Australia). Age: 32. Seed: 1. Playing style: right-handed, shake hand grip. Best Result at ITTF Oceania Cup: Champion (2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013).

David Powell (Australia). Age: 23. Seed: 2. Playing style: right-handed, shake hand grip. Best result at ITTF Oceania Cup: Finalist (2013).

Phillip Xiao (New Zealand). Age: 23. Seed: 3. Playing style: right-handed, shake hand grip. Best result at ITTF Oceania Cup: semi-finalist (2011, 2012, 2013).

Oliver Scarlett (New Zealand). Age: 20. Seed: 5. Playing style: right-handed, shake hand grip. Best result at ITTF-Oceania Cup: quarter-final (2013).

Laurent Sens (New Caledonia). Age: 36. Seed: 7. Playing style: right-handed, shake hand grip. Best result at ITTF-Oceania Cup: Pacific Cup Champion (2011).

WOMEN

Li Chun Li (New Zealand). Age: 52. Seed: 1. Playing style: right-handed, pen hold grip. Best result at ITTF Oceania Cup: Champion (2012).

Jian Fang LAY (Australia). Age: 41. Seed: 2. Playing style: right-handed, pen hold grip. Best result at ITTF Oceania Cup: finalist (2009, 2011, 2012).

Zhenhua Dederko (Australia). Age: 36.Seed: 3. Playing style: right-handed, shake hand grip. Best result at ITTF-Oceania Cup: semi-finalist (2011, 2012, 2013).

Melissa Tapper (Australia). Age: 24. Seed: 4. Playing style: Left-handed, shake hand grip. Best result at ITTF Oceania Cup: semi-finalist (2013).

Cathy Gauthier (New Caledonia). Age: 34. Seed: 6. Playing style: right-handed, shake hand grip. Best result at ITTF Oceania Cup: Pacific Cup Champion (2012, 2013).

Action gets underway on Wednesday from 9am, with the teams events.

Tickets are available at the door.

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