Australia's best ready for Oceania challenge

TWO of Australia’s best table tennis players have come to Bendigo for the ITTF Oceania Cup with one goal in mind, to win.

David Powell and Melissa Tapper are in the city for the prestigious tournament, they will take on the best of the best from across the Oceania region.

Powell said he was hoping to go one better this year after falling short in the final against countryman William Henzell.

“This event is definitely one all athletes look forward to it the main event,” he said.

“Playing last year was a great experience, I am hoping to go one better this year.

“There will definitely some tough competition here but we have come here to win.”

Powell said the Oceania Cup would be a fantastic springboard for the rest of the yeat.

Tapper said she will face some tough opposition at the tournament but was looking forward to the challenge.

“In the women’s section there is a strong contingent of players here,” she said.  

“It will be a great competition because everyone has something special about their game.

“I am just looking forward to getting a few matches under my belt.”

Last year Tapper lost the bronze medal match at the Oceania Cup, this year she wants to reach the final.

It is an exciting year for the talented table tennis duo, with both Powell and Tapper already booking their spots in the Australian team for the Commonwealth Games later this year.

It is a historic result for Tapper, who in 2012 competed at London Paralympics.

“It was exciting at the start of this year to qualify for the able-bodied team in Glasgow, it has always been a dream,” Tapper said.

“It is quite an exciting year for me.”

The Oceania Cup will run in Bendigo until Monday. 

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