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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