March 20, 2018

Jian Fang Lay on her way to winning the Women’s Singles Final for a third consecutive time. (Photo: Ricardo Dasso)

Team Australia has dominated the 2018 ITTF-Oceania Championships, winning gold in 12 of the 14 events on offer. Gold Coast, Australia hosted the tournament as the region’s best athletes came together to compete from the 15th-19th of March.

Australia’s Xin YAN claimed the Men’s Singles, and teammate Jian Fang LAY won gold in the Women’s event. For LAY it was her third straight title, while YAN succeeded in going back to back in the Men’s Singles after taking out the event in 2016.

YAN was simply irrepressible during the championships. The Olympian and Commonwealth Games representative won in every event on offer, coming away with four gold medals.

Meanwhile, Gold Coast local Danni-Elle TOWNSEND starred in the Under 21 Women’s Events. The 14-year-old took home the Singles, Doubles, and Mixed Doubles titles. Impressively, the Australian didn’t drop a game in any of her final encounters.

Australia also laid claim to the Men’s, Women’s, and Under 21 Women’s Team Events.

New Zealand managed to stop the host nation making a clean sweep, taking two titles in the Under 21 Men’s category.

The Kiwis were able to upset the odds and win gold in the Under 21 Men’s Team, while Nathan XU won the Under 21 Men’s Singles to take another gold medal back across the Tasman for Team New Zealand.

The tournament was seen as a perfect warmup for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Two days of competition were held at Oxenford Studios, the venue for table tennis events during GC2018. Oceania athletes capitalised on the opportunity to be the first to play in the venue.

After his strong performance this week on the Gold Coast, Xin YAN said he is looking forward to returning to compete in two week’s time

“It’s a privilege to play in front a home crowd, and I hope I can make a strong performance once again when I’m back on the Gold Coast,” said YAN.