December 4, 2018

Zhiying Cheng closed out the match for New Zealand against Australia. (Photo: APAC Sport Media)

New Zealand’s girls team has come away as Oceania’s highest finisher at the conclusion of the Team Events at the 2018 ITTF World Junior Table Tennis Championships in Bendigo Australia. The Kiwi’s took 14th place overall.

In the playoffs for positions 13-16, New Zealand dominated Australia in an all Oceania affair. The Kiwis cruised to a 3-0 win to guarantee their top 14 finish.

In the Junior Boys’ Teams playoff for positions 15-16, the Trans-Tasman rivalry was once again ignited.

Australia and New Zealand were pitted against each other and this time the match went down to the wire. Nathan Xu took two wins for New Zealand, while Benjamin Gould and Finn Lum got Australia on the board to have the score tied up at 2-2.

The pressure fell on Australia’s Nicholas Lum and New Zealand’s Yanglun Zhao to decide the match.

Locals fans couldn’t have asked for a better match, with the pair exchanging games and taking the match in to the fifth. But it was Aussie Lum that ran away with the match, securing the final game 11-5 and giving Australia 15th place.