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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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Blog

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…

pbsmick

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2012 World Team Championships – Final Results

by on Apr.17, 2012, under News

The Australian women won the second division which therefore qualifies them to participate in division one at the next World Team Championships in 2014.
The women’s overall ranking was 25th.

The men had an outstanding performance as well, having just moved up to division two due to their ranking in Moscow. The men placed 35th in the overall grading.
Both the men and women improved their ranking by 15 positions each compared to the last World Team Championships in Moscow, (Men – 50th, Women 40th).

Exceptional recognition goes to Jian Fang Lay with only one loss and William Henzell with only two over the whole tournament.

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New ITTF World Rankings

by on Apr.17, 2012, under News

ttEDGE founders William Henzell and Robert Frank leapt up the World rankings this month after solid performances in March.

Robert moved up a whopping 117 places to 495 after impressive wins at Olympic Qualifying and at the 2012 World Team Championships, which concluded last week.

Frank triumphed against Cuban Andy Pereira, who is ranked 163 on the latest ranking, to record one of the best wins of his career.

William moves up 29 spots to 123 to see an 18 month high. He finished the 2012 Worlds with an outstanding record of 9 wins and 2 losses after wins against Argentina’s Liu Song, Egypt’s Omar Assar and Italy’s Niagol Stoyanov.

ttEDGE is the official partner and video provider to Table Tennis Australia.

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