Advance Australia Fair, Green and Gold the Winning Colour in Bendigo

by on Jul.03, 2013, under News

The champion in Adelaide in 2011 and one year ago in Suva; William Henzell made it three in a row by winning the Men’s event at the K-Sports ITTF-Oceania Cup in Bendigo, Australia on Tuesday 2nd July 2013.

In an all-Australian final, he overcame David Powell in five games (15-13, 11-7, 7-11, 11-4, 11-1) to clinch the title.

Gold for Australia in the Men’s event, it was also gold in the counterpart Women’s competition.

A semi-finalist in 2011, Miao Miao climbed two steps higher to claim the title by recovering from a three games to one deficit against New Zealand’s Li Chunli in the final to secure a seven games success by the very narrowest of margins (5-11, 11-13, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 13-11 11-9).

William Henzell the Men’s Singles winner at the K-Sports Oceania Cup

First Time in Final
It was the first time that Miao Miao had reached the final; her previous best was a semi-final place in Adelaide in 2011.

Bound for Belgium and Japan
The successes mean that Miao Miao will compete in the STARTS Women’s World Cup to be staged in the Japanese city of Kobe from Saturday 21st to Monday 23rd September 2013; whilst William Henzell will be on duty in the LIEBHERR Men’s World Cup, scheduled to be held in the Belgian city of Verviers from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th October 2013.

It will be the sixth time that William Henzell has appeared in the prestigious annual event; the same for Miao Miao.

Previous Appearances
William Henzell made his debut in Liège in 2005 and was present in Paris in 2006 and the following year in Barcelona; a break of four years, he returned to duty in 2011 in Paris and most recently competed in Liverpool last year.

Meanwhile, Miao Miao made her first appearance in the Women’s World Cup in Singapore in 2002; she was present two years later in Hangzhou before competing in the tournament on three consecutive occasions. She was in action in Chengdu in 2007, the following year in Kuala Lumpur and in 2009 in Guangzhou.

All smiles from the champions left William Henzell right Miao Miao

Won Intercontinental Cup
Notably in Guangzhou in 2009 at the Volkswagen Women’s World Cup, Miao Miao won the Intercontinental Cup.

She finished ahead of Canada’s Zhang Mo, Congo Brazzaville’s Han Xing and Chile’s Berta Rodriguez.

An Opportunity
“Yes I am looking forward to the World Cup; there will be even tougher competition as it is the World Cup”, said Miao Miao. “I’m happy to qualify and have the opportunity to play against the top players from around the world.”

Pleased to qualify and so were the spectators in Bendigo.

“This is very exciting. I would like to give my thanks to everybody here who supported me”, added Miao Miao. “My thanks to the organisers, the coaches, my parents and all my friends here; thank you very much for your support.”

Miao Miao grateful for the support in a thrilling final against Li Chunli

Returning to Belgium
Equally William Henzell was in a positive frame of mind and was pleased to be returning to Belgium.

“I have been to Belgium a couple of times and actually played my first World Cup in Belgium in 2005 so I’ll be coming home”, smiled William Henzell. “I am very much looking forward to the experience, I had the best results of my career in the Olympics last year, so I am hoping to carry some of that form to Belgium, hopefully I can knock out one of the top ten players; that would be really special.”

Best Ever from Oceania
Undoubtedly in London, he gave arguably the best performance ever by a player from Oceania. He accounted for Hungary’s Adam Pattantyus and Portugal’s João Monteiro before losing in seven games to Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus.

David Powell beaten by William Henzell at the final hurdle

Unfinished Business
“I’ve got some unfinished business”, reflected William Henzell with regards to his contest against Vladimir Samsonov in the ExCeL Exhibition Centre. “I had a 4-1 lead in the deciding seventh game but it got away from me so I would love to take some sweet revenge.”

Bronze for Robbie Frank
Gold for William Henzell, silver for David Powell; it was bronze for Robbie Frank to complete a clean sweep for Australia.

In the third place contest, Robbie Frank accounted for New Zealand’s Phillip Xiao in five games (11-3, 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9)

“It was a lot better than my semi-final where I was beaten”, said Robbie Frank. “I was a bit nervous, a bit tentative and didn’t perform as I wanted to so it was good to be able to follow up with a good result and win four-one, Phil’s a good player so it feels great to get over the line.”

Robbie Frank beat New Zealand’s Phillip Xiao to secure bronze

Main Rivals
Australia and New Zealand are the two main land masses in Oceania; the main rivals.

“Australia and New Zealand always has a rivalry in every sport”, explained Robbie Frank. “I think it is a great result for me to get a win here, it means we have first, second and third places.”

Zhenhua Dederko Secure Bronze
Success for the host nation in the bronze medal match in the Men’s Singles event, it was the same in the counterpart Women’s Singles event with the place guaranteed as two Australians in the guise of Zhenhua Derdeko and Melissa Tapper stood in opposition.

The verdict went to Zhenhua Derdeko; she beat Melissa Tapper in six games (11-5, 4-11, 11-7, 11-7, 9-11, 11-2).

Zhenhua Derdeko beat Melissa Tapper to secure the bronze medal

Improving Player
“Melissa is a really good player, I played against her many times and it’s always very tough, so today was not an easy game for me”, said Zhenhua Dederko. “She has improved a lot and I had to concentrate to make sure I could win: I had to attack more than normal today because when I defended my strokes were too weak, it was difficult to defend today.”

Double Gold
Bronze for the hosts but more importantly it was double gold for the green and gold colours of the host nation; in Bendigo the anthem was advance Australia fair.

Melissa Tapper beaten by Zhenhua Derdeko in the bronze medal contests

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Three Day Training Camp Sets ITTF-Oceania Hopes Week and Challenge in Action

by on Apr.03, 2013, under News

Organised by Health, Wellness and Table Tennis, a company based in the Australian city of Melbourne; the inaugural ITTF-Oceania Hopes Week and Challenge commenced on Tuesday 2nd April 2013 with a three day Training Camp.

Home for the event is the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.

At the helm is Simon Gerada with Melissa Tapper and Ivan Sulfrano in support.

All have considerable international experience.

Olympian and Paralympian
Notably Simon Gerada represented Australia in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, whilst Melissa Tapper competed in the World Junior Championships in Kobe in 2004 and recently was in action at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Melissa Tapper in action at the London Paralympic Games.

Ivan Sulfrano is currently a member of the Australian Junior Boys’ Team.

Chance for International Play
“The event is designed to give young athletes within the region an opportunity to compete at an international level at a very young age”, explained Matthew Brown, the Oceania Development Officer. “The athletes targeted are between 11 and 12 years of age.”

A positive Oceania Development Officer and equally Melissa Tapper was positive.

Great Experience
“It was great to see the many young faces here today”, she said. “I’m sure this will be an experience which this group will remember for a life time.”

Equally, Ivan Sulfrano was upbeat.

“The stadium looked great this morning when I walked in, so many youngsters and so much talent”, he said. “We’ll show them how to work!”

Successful First Day
Hard work is the key to success and very necessary.

“The morning started with an introduction made by myself where I thanked everyone for coming”, explained Simon Gerada. “Following a warm up led by Ivan, which I explained we had learned the warm up from the Korean National team, a warm up designed specifically for table tennis concentrating the muscles used in table tennis, the morning session involved multi-ball for two and a half hours where we focused on placement, movement and accountability.”

Paired with Senior Players
A well organised session the international players were paired with senior players to gain the best possible value from the session.

“The session concluded with a warm down and an explanation of recovery and preparation for the afternoon session”, continued Simon Gerada. “In the afternoon we began with a warm up which was again run by Ivan, where we explained that the warm up was used in China; a warm up we had learned as a team several years ago and was a more dynamic increasing heart rate.”

Footwork the Focus
Each player was paired with a player of a similar level, a total of 28 players being involved in two distinct groups.

“Footwork with service drills to follow was the basic plan with a general focus on match play; keeping the ball on the table was the key focus”, added Simon Gerada. “Overall the day went really well; we will provide the international and interstate guests with a MyKey card to explore the city of Melbourne on Wednesday”

However, for the players it will be another full day’s training with a distinctive goal..

Ideal Preparation
“The training camp will provide the young athletes with the ideal preparation for the ITTF-Oceania Hopes Challenge to be staged over two days on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th April 2013”, explained Michael Brown. “The competition sees 16 boys and nine girls competing; thanks to the assistance of the ITTF Development Programme, the highest placed finishers in the Boys’ and Girls’ Singles events will receive financial assistance to attend the ITTF Hopes Week to be staged at the Werner Schlager Academy in Austria, Vienna later this year.”

A definitive goal, an exciting challenge lies ahead.

Supporting Organisations
In addition to the International Table Tennis Federation the week is endorsed by the Oceania Table Tennis Federation, Table Tennis Australia and Table Tennis Victoria.

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Advance Australia Fair Secures Quarter-Final Place in Guangzhou

by on Mar.30, 2013, under News

Winners of the Women’s First Division title at the Liebherr World Team Championships, just under one year ago in Dortmund, Australia caused one of the biggest upsets to date in the Times Property World Team Classic in Guangzhou.

In their concluding group stage fixture on the morning of Friday 29th March 2013; they beat Poland, the eighth seeds, in a contest that lasted within seconds of three and a half hours.

A true team effort, the result meant Australia secured second place in the group behind Singapore with Poland suffering elimination.

Level After Two Matches
Zhenhua Dederko gave Australia the perfect start by beating Natalia Partyka by the narrowest of margins in the fifth game (9-11, 11-9, 10-12, 14-12, 11-9).

Immediately Poland levelled with Katarzyna Grzybowska overcoming Jian Fang Lay in a hard fought five games duel (17-19, 15-13, 11-7, 11-7). Next came the doubles which went the way of Poland.

Match Points Saved
Natalia Partyka and Magdalena Szczerkowska saved match point after match point in the fifth game of their duel against Miao Miao and Zhenhua Dederko (9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 13-11); a result that had surely swung matters in favour of the Europeans.

It was not to be the scenario; Australia responded.

Australian Response
Miao Miao kept her nerve and in yet another duel that was decided by a minimal two point margin, she overcame Katarzyna Grzybowska (13-11, 11-9, 4-11, 6-11, 11-9) to set the scene for Jian Fang Lay to secure a quite sensational win.

Using her pen-hold blocking style of play to perfection, combining blocked returns from the long pimpled side of the racket and attacks from the reversed side, she mesmerised Magdalena Szczerkowska.

Third Game
She won the first two games with a degree of ease before in the third game losing the first five points; it appeared Katarzyna Grzybowska had adjusted to the style of Jian Fang Lay.

It was not the situation; Jian Fang Lay won the next nine points, it was over bar the shouting. Jian Fang Lay won in three straight games (11-7, 11-3, 11-7); Australia celebrated.

One upset as matters concluded in the first stage of the Women’s Team event but there was only one.

Jian Fang Lay secured victory for Australia by beating Magdalena Szczerkowska

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by on Mar.06, 2013, under News

So it’s being a while since my last blog. August 2012 I had a huge career change and that has impacted on my table tennis a lot. I really don’t to play as much as I would like to and compete at local events. I haven’t posted many videos on YouTube as well but I’m hoping to upload more as I have been given some great footage last December. This year TTA have changed (again) the format of the Australian Open June 6-9, no place selected yet. From what I read it now is called the Australian Open Championship and then there is the Australian National Championships on July 6-13 in NSW. I’m trying to decide which one to attend and film but it will likely be the National as it goes for the longest but who knows really?

One thing I have discovered over the last 6 months is how quickly your game can deteriorate when you play less. My coach Duncan “15” Tu said I have lost my touch. I still have all my great shots but it’s hitting the ball more correctly. Like top spinning from the table, keeping your arm higher and getting more brush on the ball. My return of serve has deteriorated a lot too. Getting right under the ball and right off the bounce when returning a short back spin serve. And footwork, standing still is not a good idea at all. Just a small movement here and there can make the difference between a great winning shot and watching the ball sink into the net. A few good coaching sessions will pick up more issues and hopefully fix these.

William Henzell’s last blog regarding playing against people who use anti-spin and pimples really hit the spot. Me personally I hate both with a passion. Probably more anti-spin. I find it frustrating and totally screws up my game. With anti-spin players if you do a really heavy backspin serve they just hit right through it with their stupid rubber and gives the ball a floating affect. Or when I do a great topspin and they just block it and it comes back with half the power I gave and with some backspin. Then you have pimples. Long, medium and short. Long give similar effects to anti-spin, medium can create some spin and the ball won’t come back as slow as long pimples and anti-spin. Short has almost the same effects as normal rubbers but isn’t as effected by spin as much. That’s why 99% of people who use these types of rubbers (anti and pimples) will have it on there backhand. They will try and return all serves with it. So I try and serve short to their forehand mixing up the spin. With anti, I sometimes do long fast serves to there middle and backhand if the players isn’t one of those people who just try and smash every shot. If it works they hit it back with a floating backspin (no much) and I can hit it for a winner. Because most players will find it hard to keep the return of a long fast serve low over the net.

So my advice is if you really want to be a good player, go and play against as  many different types of players as you can find. A good workout at is against choppers. It’s not just “loop….chop…..loop…..chop”. The amount of spin you loop will come back as backspin. Best to loop…..chop…..push, that way if they return your push with a chop it won’t have much spin and makes its easier to return with a loop. Even the top players in the world do this. Just watch any match with Joo See Hyuk. And you won’t feel like you’ve just gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson! So I will leave my blog with that thought in your head.

May the spin be with you…


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David Beaumont – RIP

by on Oct.18, 2012, under News

David Beaumont (1951-2012)

Passed away October 14th 2012

It is with deep regret that we advise that David passed away yesterday following a battle with cancer.

David will be missed by all the table tennis fraternity and our sympathy is extended to Glenys and the family. We also extend this to cover all of his friends within table tennis who knew him over his almost life-long involvement.

David was a Life Member of Table Tennis NSW, served as President and a Director for a number of years, this was a significant effort given that he managed this well from Gulgong in the Central West of NSW.

David was also a long serving Board Member of Table Tennis Australia and only recently stepped down as Vice President. David has left a long term legacy from his efforts on behalf of our game. He has been very involved in the development of youth and junior categories, often attending major national and international events representing either New South Wales or Australia.

As a player, David represented NSW at the highest levels, when selected for our State Open Teams in his younger days or in later years as a member of the State Veteran teams. David was also proud of his NSW country representation and always ensured he was part of a team competing at the Country Championships.

However his proudest moments were reserved for the efforts of his family. He was a complete family man who supported his children in all their efforts.

Table Tennis, at all levels, has lost a tremendous ambassador.

Deepest sympathy from pbsmick

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No Fear of the unknown for Tapper

by on Aug.29, 2012, under News

Just six days out from the biggest competition of her life, Australia’s top ranked table tennis player Melissa Tapper is relishing in her excitement and nerves.

She knows she has what it takes to play well, she knows she has what it takes to win against the world’s best, and ranked number four in the world, she knows she’s in contention for Australia’s first Paralympic table tennis medal since 1984.

“I’m nervous for sure, definitely,” said Tapper, from Hamilton in Victoria.

“But I like working hard and I know I have worked hard in the last year and a half leading in… So as nervous as I am, I know I can match it with them.”

But there is one uncertainty in the Victorian’s Paralympic campaign – Polish world number one, Natalia Partyka.

Both in their 20s and both left arm players, Partyka and Tapper’s table tennis careers both began in able-bodied competitions, with Partyka recently competing at the London Olympics, where she finished in the third round.

Despite their similarities, the pair has never met across the table tennis table and could for the first time in London. And Tapper is ready.

Before joining her teammate Rebecca McDonnell and the rest of the Australian Paralympic Team at the APC’s pre-Games staging camp in Cardiff, the 22-year-old spent three weeks in Poland training with the country’s national able-bodied team.

“She went there to get some good quality hitting in the lead up to the Paralympics. In Australia there isn’t the depth of players to train with so it was particularly good that she had a lot of female players to be able to compete with,” said Australian Paralympic Table Tennis Head Coach, Alois Rosario.

“They were really good about it. They really enjoyed having someone new inside the hall even though the first day I trained, I beat one of the national team girls,” added Tapper.

Tapper and Partyka met for the first time during Tapper’s stay in Poland but only briefly, and away from the table.

Having now met the undisputed world champion in the women’s class 10 table tennis, coach Rosario says Tapper is in the favoured position ranked fourth in the world, with everything to prove and nothing to lose.

“For Mel, Natalia’s a bit of a target I suppose and something to aim for. I think it’s really good for Mel to have Natalia… and if she gets the chance to play her, it will just be a matter of go out there and give it a crack and see where she can get to,” said Rosario.

“Gold is the ultimate aim, but she’s never played Natalia so they’ve never really matched up and seen how they’ve gone against each other. It will be a matter of beating the Chinese girls to get the opportunity to play Natalia.”

For Tapper, the stint in Poland has provided the perfect lead in to what will be a tough table tennis competition in London.

“I was able to improve my level just in the three weeks that I was there so now it’s just about maintaining it and making sure I feel good and confident with everything. At the moment I’m feeling good,” she said.

“I think every match is going to be tough in London. Even if I am playing someone who I know is weaker than me, if I think “oh this is an easy match” then chances are I’ll probably make it a lot tougher than it should be. I think I’ve got to treat every match the same.”

With only Tapper(class 10) and McDonnell (class six) competing in both singles and doubles competitions for Australia, either athlete needs to win just one match to become the first Australian to do so since Barcelona in 1992.

“The girls will be going into each match, focused on exactly what they need to do,” said Rosario.

“Bec’s been working hard on her tactical play, she’s worked on each opponent she could possibly get and worked on their tactical play and Mel, depending on her draw, she’s very clear in her head technically with what she wants to do with each of her opponents.”

Table tennis competition starts 30 August at ExCeL with both Tapper and McDonnell competing on day one.

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William’s 2012 Olympic Wrap-Up

by on Aug.23, 2012, under News

I didn’t win gold and I didn’t walk on the moon. But I am very satisfied with what I achieved in London and over the 18 months that preceded the Games. Leaving a well-paying and secure job to be poor, spend all my savings and chase a dream of doing well at the London Olympics was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

The Australian Olympic Table Tennis team.

It’s difficult to sum up 18 months of total focus on the 2012 Olympics but I’ll try my best. I felt deeply unhappy with having finished 4th in two events at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. I went back to my desk at work and spent time staring at the wall – would I have won those medals if I had been able to train and compete more often?

A few months later I resigned from my full-time job and began planning my assault on the 2012 Olympics. It was 18 months away and I knew I would need every second if I was going to make an impact at the Games. I spent several weeks making arrangements to spend most of the year before the Olympics based in Europe. I found myself a club in Austria, to cover some of the expenses of the trip, and was fortunate enough to be accepted into the Werner Schlager Academy in Vienna on good terms.

I went through some great times and some very tough times during the 9 months in spent in Europe. The toughest was about a month out from the Olympic qualification. My form nosedived completely and I began losing to players a long way below me. I had two poor Pro Tour events and a weekend of league from hell. The stress and anxiety of what was happening grew stronger and I was on a downwards spiral. What got me through was some timely assistance from a very helpful sports psychologist and the realisation that the worst thing that could happen was that I wouldn’t qualify for the Olympics. I managed to pull myself out of the hole and played some of my best table tennis of the season at the two all-important Olympic qualification events in Sydney.

The Olympic Village

The time I spent in Austria was extremely beneficial. I was able to work with two of the best coaches in the world each day, Richard Prause and Dirk Wagner, and practice with some great players. I think many players have a romantic notion about how fantastic it would be to be a professional player. In many ways it is and in many ways it isn’t. Every day is a hard slog and there were so many times I had to drag myself out of bed to face the afternoon session when all my body wanted was rest. The league competition is the best way to toughen you up mentally and teach you to make fast tactical decisions about what will win you the match. I worked a great deal on my footwork and forehand topspin especially and, together with the coaches, was able to make huge leaps forwards. I am hoping I will be able to maintain and even improve on these aspects with the knowledge I picked up.

Private concert by John Farnham was one of the highlights

Competing at the Olympics is different – I think every player views it as a special event and will do whatever they can to gain the right to compete there. Seeing players celebrate when they just manage to qualify to compete at the Games shows what it means to them on a personal level. It’s a great occasion to be part of the largest sporting event in the World and to represent your country there. The focus on the Olympics adds a new level of pressure which is not easy to handle even for top players. I feel I handle that extra pressure well and use it to inspire me rather than hold me back. In fact almost all of my best results and performances have come at either the Olympic Games or Commonwealth Games.

Cramped conditions in the village

Having funded almost all of the 8 months stay in Austria out of my own savings, I was low on funds and needed help to get back to Europe to finish off my final preparations. Fortunately my employer Slater and Gordon helped me out as well as a lovely lady from Sydney, who had heard a radio interview I had done on the ABC and tracked me down in order to sponsor me. The help they provided proved completely invaluable.

I played a warm-up tournament in Germany about 2 weeks before the Olympics. I played three matches against choppers: two against Evgueni Chtchetinine (WR73) and one against Adam Pattantyus (WR80). I lost all three but played better and better in each of the matches. I drew Pattantyus in the first round in London and without that practice and experience against those choppers, I would almost certainly have lost.

I was feeling pretty nervous before my first match in London. I could see that Pattantyus was also looking nervous and seemed to be stressed by the strict procedures before the match. You must report to a holding area 30 minutes prior to the match where they check your advertisements (only one small logo allowed), shirts, names and rackets. You aren’t allowed to leave once you are there. I started the first set a little shakily. He led 9-6 but I fought back and won 13-11. I eventually won 4-1 after surviving a spirited comeback in the 4th and 5th sets. It was an electrifying feeling to have beaten a much higher ranked player, who I had lost to 3 times in the past 6 months, when it mattered the most at the Olympics. I thought it was a terrible draw when I saw I would play him yet again but spent a couple of days convincing myself I could win and studying videos of his tactics with team-mate Robert Frank and coach Jens Lang.

New look for the Australian team

The next day I played Joao Monteiro from Portugal. He was another step up against at 39 in the World. I went out and got thumped in the first set, losing 11-2. I was going for my shots (I knew I had to if I wanted to win the match) but always seemed just off the pace, missing by 50cm – a metre. I turned the match around by continuing to believe in my game and shots, winning the next three sets before losing the 5th set. I led 3 games to 2 and 6-3 in the 6th set but he came back at me again. He had a chance to take the match to a 7th set (which he would have been strong favourite to win) when he led 10-9 but I took the set and match 12-10. If I thought it had been good to beat Pattantyus, it was nothing compared to how good it felt to beat Monteiro. I remember jumping and jumping in the air after his last shot went long and the rush of adrenaline shooting through my body. All that I had been through over 18 months became totally worth it in those moments.

Proud moment being inducted into the Australian team

My next match was against Vladimir Samsonov, a former world number 1 and the 9th seed in London. I almost pulled out one of the upsets of the Olympics when I led 4-1 in the deciding 7th game. He showed his class from there onwards to save himself from defeat. Later that day he came close to beating World number 1 and eventual gold medallist Zhang Yike of China in the next round. As the adrenaline of the match subsided, I felt waves of sadness as I thought about how close I’d come to beating an icon of the sport at the Olympics. It would have been pretty cool to play Zhang Yike in the round of 16 at the Olympics! I attempted to maintain my form for the team event but couldn’t. We lost 3-0 to Singapore and I lost my match 3-0 against the world number 25.

Great view of the Men’s Singles semi-final

I had planned to leave the Olympic village and London soon after my competition had ended to go on holiday with my fiancée Danni. It is easy to get cabin fever in the village and I was expecting to hit a big low after my 18 months of preparation had run its course. Very few players get to leave competition on a victory so almost everyone else is left to consider what may have been. I needed to get my head clear as soon as possible and occupy myself with anything but table tennis. It has worked!

I was very, very pleased when the August world rankings came out and I had moved up to number 91 in the World. I had almost given up any hope of finally cracking the top 100 (my best was 108 in June 2010). Although I would say it didn’t matter when people asked me about the top 100, I was secretly unhappy about not having made it as I think it is a wonderful achievement personally. I fear it will be difficult to maintain a top 100 ranking once I return to full-time work in a couple of weeks time but I will do my best.

The 2016 Olympics are going to be held in Rio. It is a long way off and a lot could happen between now and then. I would like to think I will still be in the mix for a spot on the Australian team for Rio and will still be able to balance work with training 4 or 5 times per week. We will see.

Function at the residence of Australia’s High Commissioner

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Australia Celebrate Shock Wins on Second Morning in Excel

by on Jul.30, 2012, under News

laying in his third Olympic Games, Australia’s William Henzell gave his best performance to date in the quadrennial multi-sport event, on the morning of Sunday 29th July.

In London’s ExCeL Arena, at the 2012 Olympic Games, the Australian excelled. Currently standing at no.130 on the Men’s World Rankings, he beat Portugal’s João Monteiro to book his place in the third round of the competition.

It was a contest in which he appeared he was to be overwhelmed. In the opening game of the match, he could do nothing right; nothing at all. Whatever he touched turned to dull stone, whatever João Monteiro attempted turned to bright gold.


William Henzell enjoyed the best day of his Olympic life.

Scenario Reversed
After the first game, the scenario reversed, the Australian had the magic touch.

He beat João Monteiro in six games (2-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 12-10).

The opening game saw William Henzell overwhelmed; it was as though he had forgotten the match had started.

However, in the second game a more positive player emerged; especially when playing strongly from the backhand he proved most effective.

Service Factors
Equally, there two further factors both concerning the service.

William Henzell has his own serving action; a forehand service very much from the centre of the table. In the early part of the match, the service drifted long.

João Monteiro was able to attack with venom and seize the opportunity; in the later stages William Henzell was able to keep the service short and more than often became the first to attack.

Faulted on Service
Secondly, João Monteiro was faulted on his service in the third game; eventually he received a yellow card; it seemed to unnerve him, it affected his concentration.

Quadri Aruna Delights and Departs
A fine six games win for William Henzell and one of two second round Men’s Singles matches to catch the eye.

The other was the recovery of Turkey’s Bora Vang to beat the effervescent Nigerian Quadri Aruna; in a contest that delighted the crowd with the Nigerian in full vocal cry, a six games win was posted (6-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-2, 12-10, 12-10).

Ariel Hsing Outstanding
An upset in the Men’s Singles event thanks to the efforts of Wiliam Henzell; in the counterpart Women’s Singles competition, there was also an upset.

Ariel Hsing from the United States, only 16 years old, beat the most experienced player on duty in the Women’s Singles event; she overcame Luxembourg’s 49 year old Ni Xialian in six games (11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 11-5, 10-12, 12-10) to book her place in the third round in her first ever Olympic Games appearance.

Hard Fought
The win recorded by Ariel Hsing was one of the hardest fought of the morning’s session of play but there was one other. Xian Yifang of France eventually overcame DPR Korea’s Ri Myong Sun in the battle of the defenders.

Xian Yifang won in six games (11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8).

Success for Ariel Hsing but for two players who has likewise impressed on the first day it was farewell.

Egypt’s 18 year old Dina Meshref was beaten by Romania’s Elizabeta Samara (7-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-6, 11-8); whilst the host nation’s hopes came to an end in the Women’s Singles event.

Great Britain’s Joanna Parker was beaten by Germany’s Kristin Silbereisen (11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 11-2, 11-4).

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Aussie Open – Day 6

by on Jul.07, 2012, under News

Today was the start of the Singles Event for the Men’s and Women’s U21 and the Men’s and Women’s Singles. As expected all 3 Korean Men got through with only one being pushed by Robert Frank. Australian #1 William Henzell got through with ease but still isn’t feeling well and dropped a set against HWATT Junior Ivan Sulfaro. I spoke to William briefly and he said he is just exhausted. I hope he gets a good rest tonite as tomorrow he’ll have some tough matches. In the Women’s, all 3 Korean’s got through so tomorrow will interesting. In the U21’s David Powell and Heming Hu have progressed through the first couple of rounds with Heming having to go the full 7 sets against Kane Townsend.

During the whole week I have had the opportunity to talk to most of the players and their thoughts about the Open. Most players are happy with the format but some do have concerns. Most concerns are regarding scheduling like having to start a match at 8 or 9pm then be expected to start matches the next day at 9am. Most can’t understand why. Also why did they have the Men’s Team Final start at 9am in a cold empty hall? The VIC team only left the hall the night before around 10:30pm. If you are expected to play matches late at nite you shouldn’t be expected to play the next day until 11am onwards so you get enough rest.

Throughout the week I have also had the opportunity to conduct some interviews. This is something I started about 6 months ago as an idea and it has been very successful with most players happy to be interviewed. It is actually very interesting hearing a player talk about why they started and what they have been through to get where they are today. We all know who William Henzell and Miao Miao are but do you actually know when and why they started playing Table Tennis? I started by hitting a ball against a brick wall when I was 10 and then progressed in school then onwards and here I am running my own Table Tennis website.

As this competition is only held once a year it gives the juniors a chance to meet their idols and maybe even play against them. I have seen David Powell sign a photo for an elderly gentleman and other players pose for photos. Some even had a hit when them. I believe this is very important for the future of Table Tennis; our high ranked players should be approachable and willing to take the time to appreciate that not everyone will succeed like them. I also encourage the younger players to ask the top players about the game and what they struggle with and get some professional advice. Imagine what you could learn by spending just 5 minutes with Robert Frank about returning serves short or how to improve your forehand topspin by talking to David Powell.

Tonight was a special night for me also. Spotted in the crown by Xuyen Tran was a famous Korean player by the name of Kim Taek-Soo who is now the Head Coach for Korea. I jokingly asked Nam Ho Oh if I could get a picture with him. Before I knew it he walked off and asked him to my surprised he said yes! Thanks Nam.

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Olympic Games List Sees New Career High for Japanese Star

by on Jul.06, 2012, under News

Winner of the Men’s Singles title at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Japan Open in Kobe, in June, Japan’s 23 year old, Jun MIZUTANI climbs to two places to no.5 on the Men’s World Rankings, issued by the International Table Tennis Federation on Wednesday 4th July 2012.

A career high for Jun MIZUTANI.

Winner of the Men’s Singles title at the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour Japan Open in Kobe, in June, Japan’s 23 year old, Jun MIZUTANI climbs to two places to no.5 on the Men’s World Rankings, issued by the International Table Tennis Federation on Wednesday 4th July 2012.

It is the highest global listing of his career.

Similarly on the Women’s World Rankings, success on the GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour is rewarded.

Korea’s KIM Kyungah who was the runner up in Japan but the winner one week later in Brazil, moves from no.11 to no.5.

Progress for Japan and Korea but once again China is the dominant force; they occupy the top four places on both the Men’s and Women’s lists, with the two reigning World champions continuing in top spot.

ZHANG Jike leads the Men’s World Rankings followed by MA Long, XU Xin and MA Lin; DING Ning continues to head the Women’s World Rankings pursued by LIU Shiwen, LI Xiaoxia and GUO Yan.

Meanwhile, for MA Lin, also from China, it is a drop of one place to no.6 as it is for Germany’s Timo BOLL, he falls to no.7.

Chinese Taipei’s CHUANG Chih-Yuan, China’s WANG Liqin and Korea’s JOO Saehyuk complete the Men’s top ten.

Meanwhile, for the Women, Japan’s Kasumi ISHIKAWA is now at no.6, having previously been at no.5; with colleague Ai FUKUHARA moving in the opposite direction. She is now at no.7, formerly at no.8.

Singapore’s FENG Tianwei and China’s GUO Yue share the no.8 spot with Hong Kong’s TIE Yana at no.10. It is a climb of two places for FENG Tianwei but a fall of two spots for GUO Yue and one for TIE Yana.

The ranking lists will be used to determine the seeding in the singles events at the forthcoming Olympic Games.

Only two players from any one National Olympic Committee are permitted in the singles events and nominations having already been made; ZHANG Jike will be the Men’s Singles top seed followed by WANG Hao, Jun MIZUTANI and Timo BOLL.

In the Women’s Singles competition DING Ning will be the no.1 seed; next in line will be LI Xiaoxia, KIM Kyungah and Kasumi ISHIKAWA.

Top 10 Men World Ranking
(Click on each player for more info)

Top 10 Women World Ranking
(Click on each player for more info)

1. ZHANG Jike 1. DING Ning
2. MA Long 2. LIU Shiwen
3. Xu Xin 3. LI Xiaoxia
4. WANG Hao 4. GUO Yan
5. MIZUTANI Jun 5. KIM Kyungah
6. MA Lin 6. ISHIKAWA Kasumi
8. CHUANG Chih-Yuan 8. GUO Yue
9. WANG Liqin 9. FENG Tianwei
10. JOO Saehyuk 10. TIE Yana

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