Tue, Mar 26, 2024 1:12 PM

Favourites find form at table tennis trials


Peter Jones

Many of New Zealand’s best table tennis players showcased their skills when Blenheim played host to regional qualifier 3 for the table tennis national championships at the weekend.

This qualification event for open, under-19 and under-15 grades is part of the TTNZ national selection criteria process where the top-placed eligible players are given a place directly to stage 2 of the TTNZ individual champs in Dunedin in April.

Many pre-tournament favourites lived up to their seeding.

Local player Oliver Phipps reaches for a return. 

The men's singles was won by top-seeded Aucklander Jack Chen, who beat both Canterbury's Griffin Buchanan and Simon Fenwick 4-1. Buchanan beat Fenwick 4-1 to claim second place.

Young North Shore player, Yelena Yi, won the women's singles with two straight-sets wins over Marlborough's Jacqui Wood and Canterbury's India Buchanan. Yi had already qualified for stage 2 in a junior category, so the top place from this qualifier went to Wood, who finished second.

Xavier Reid prepares to serve.

North Shore's Jiming Yang played outstandingly in the under-15 boys' section. Seeded third overall, he beat the second seed from Canterbury, Mihik Advilkar in section play. After a semi-final win over Nelson's Dimitri Bell, he beat Canterbury's Xavier Reid in the final 8-11,4-11,11-8, 11-6, 11-9. Marlborough's Harry Speakman finished seventh. Tommy Phipps came close to a win, just losing out to Canterbury's Ethan Tiong in five sets, with both players scoring 51 points.

Canterbury's Tracey Hsia won the equivalent girls' event from Marlborough's Cora Wilson.

In the under-19 grade, played on Sunday, Griffin finished top of the six-player round-robin to claim first place in the boy's section. Reid came second with Yang in third.

North Shore player Jiming Yang in action.

Local player, Ollie Phipps, was up against some classy opponents, but especially against Reid and Bell he was smashing with confidence.

Auckland's Jocelyn Lam won the girls' event from Tracey Hsia.

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