March 19, 2018

David Powell came from behind to keep Australia on course for the win. (Photo: Ricardo Dasso)

Australia has put their foot down at the 2018 ITTF-Oceania Championships, taking both the Men’s and Women’s Team titles.

It was a nervous start for Australia in the men’s event when Australia’s David Powell faced New Zealand’s Matthew Ball.

Ball raced to a 2-0 lead. His steady hands putting Powell in some difficult situations. But the local supporter got behind the Aussie as he clawed back two games on the board to take the match to a decider.

The pair were point for point, until the Australian broke the deadlock for a two point lead. A little extra power on Powell’s balls saw him chip away at his opponent’s defences and take the decider 11-8.

Next up was Kane Townsend up against Dean Shu. Shu has been a problem for Australia this week, but this morning was a different story.

Townsend’s serve troubled the Kiwi. The Australian was able to find the third ball with his forehand was making rapid fire forehands. Quickly it was 2-0 to Australia.

With a lead secured the Australian team was in the driver’s seat. Xin Yan was next up to the plate against Alfred Dela Pena. Yan’s trademark sleepy style was impenetrable. After a shaky start it the gold was in the bag as the Aussies took the title 3-0. The win also means the team has guaranteed their place at the 2019 ITTF Team World Cup.

Meanwhile the Australian women’s team it was smooth sailing. The experienced outfit saw off the combined team of New Caledonia and Tahiti in the final round.

The Aussies cruised to a 3-0, never looking in trouble along the way.

New Caledonia in particular can be positive about their run to the final. With their team made up of two junior athletes, the pair will have plenty of opportunities to build their experience here on the Gold Coast.

It wasn’t just two gold medals, but the matches were perfect preparation for Australia. Both lineups will be appearing at the upcoming 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Acclimatisation; tick.