March 9, 2018

Heming Hu will be the top seed heading in to the Men’s Singles event on the Gold Coast. (Photo: ITTF World)

There’s just six days to go before athletes descend on the Gold Coast for the 2018 ITTF-Oceania Championships. With the event just around the corner the seedings have been released, giving us our first taste of what to expect once the tournament gets underway.

Australia take the top four seeds in the Men’s Singles. Heming Hu takes the number one spot, while Xin Yan will be back to defend his title, but has to make do with a number two seeding.

Back in to the mix after a decade since winning the title is Trent Carter. The Aussie won the Men’s Singles title way back in 2008. After a short break away from the game, Carter has made a classy comeback, and quickly has found himself back in the Australian national team. On the Gold Coast he is outside the top eight seeds. This means one unlucky player could find themselves up against Carter in the early stages of the draw.

The wildcards for the title look to be 2017 Mini Pacific Games champion Yoshua Shing from Vanuatu and 2017 ITTF-Oceania Junior Champion Dean Shu from New Zealand. But they both will be need a career best performance if they are to take gold.

In the Women’s Singles, Jian Fang Lay will be looking to make it a third consecutive title. Lay took her first gold back in 2002, but had a twelve year absence from the top of the podium. Currently she seems almost invincible in the region, and it will probably take a teammate to steal the gold. Vanuatu’s Priscila Tommy and Fiji’s Yee sisters will need to come out with all cylinders firing if they want to sneak some silverware away from the Aussies.

Meanwhile in the Team Event, the Aussies look set to dominate on their home turf. The squad are using the event as a lead in to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, and won’t be wanting to slip up. It was fourteen years ago in front of a home crowd that New Zealand men were last able to take the title away from the Australians, while in the women’s the Aussies are on a twenty year hot streak. Defending their top seeding on the Gold Coast seems a safe bet.

Check out the full Singles and Doubles seedings.