Paralympian Tapper back in Bendigo seeking Gold
Melissa Tapper will be looking to hit many more forehands when she returns to Bendigo for the K-Sports 2014 ITTF-Oceania Cup & Championships. Photo courtesy of Warren Woolcock.
London 2012 Paralympian Melissa Tapper is determined to improve on her fourth placing in the K-Sports 2013 ITTF-Oceania Cup as she finalizes her preparations for this years event. "Coming back to Bendigo is an opportunity to improve on last years 4th place in the premier event on the ITTF-Oceania calendar" remarked the Hamilton born athlete.
Tapper will be using the K-Sports 2014 ITTF-Oceania Cup & Championships, taking place at the Bendigo Stadium from 16 – 21 April, as her first international of the year stated "It will provide its own challenge for me. I've been training well, life is good and I'm looking forward to the event."
The start of a busy year comes after Milly, as she is known to her friends, reached a lifelong dream of qualifying for the Australian able-bodied Commonwealth Games team at the Australian qualification event held earlier this year.
The lifelong dream becomes truer each day, and as the Australian Commonwealth Games Association announced official team, Melissa Tapper was announced alongside the likes of Miao Miao and William Henzell, legends of table tennis in Australia. "So yeah, the anticipation is a real motivator at the moment" enthused Tapper.
Success in Bendigo will see Tapper qualify as the Oceania representative at the ITTF World Cup, an event that sees only 20 qualifiers from around the world battling it out for one of the most prestigious titles in world table tennis.
Having first picked up a table tennis racket at the age of 12, Tapper grew up competing against able-bodied athletes for years despite having brachial plexus nerve damage in her right arm, and claimed several Australian Junior titles over the years, having also represented Australia at the World Table Tennis Junior Championships.
It wasn't until 2010 when it was suggested she try Paralympic table tennis. "I was reluctant at first, as I have never viewed myself as having a disability" claimed Tapper. Once she embraced the idea and began training for with the Australian Para Table Tennis squad, her rise in the world of Paralympic table tennis grew.
Jian Fang Lay, Zhenhua Dederko, Miao Miao and Vy Bui will join tapper in her quest for gold, in the Women's Team event, whereas in the ITTF-Oceania Cup, Jian Fang Lay and Zhenhua Dederko will line up as opponents.
Prior to all the action commencing, a Press Conference will be staged at the Bendigo Stadium on Wednesday 16th April at 10am with matches commencing at 11am
Tickets are currently available for pre-purchase through the Bendigo Visitors Centre, offering a 20% discount, or are available at the door.
For more information, please contact ITTF-Oceania's Development Officer Michael Brown at email@example.com.
About the K-Sports 2014 ITTF-Oceania Cup & Championships
The ITTF-Oceania Cup is the premier Table Tennis event on the ITTF-Oceania calendar.The event sees a total prize pool of over AU$20,000, with the Men's and Women's Champion gaining entry into their respective World Cup.
The ITTF-Oceania Championships is the longest standing event in the Oceania Table Tennis Federation, and sees the member associations of the region battling it out for the title of Teams, Singles, and Doubles champion. The 2014 ITTF-Oceania Championships also include the U21 ITTF-Oceania Championships. The event has attracted entries from 11 countries, and over 80 athletes.
The K-Sports 2014 ITTF-Oceania Cup & Championships will be staged at the Bendigo Stadium from 16 - 21 April. Tickets are on sale now through the Bendigo Visitors Centre.
Find out more about the K-Sports 2014 ITTF-Oceania Cup & Championships at ITTFOceania.com/cup
About ITTF-Oceania (Oceania Table Tennis Federation
The ITTF-Oceania (Oceania Table Tennis Federation) is responsible for the sport of table tennis within the Oceania Region - Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Ocean. ITTF-Oceania has 24 affiliated National Associations.
Find out more about the ITTF-Oceania (Oceania Table Tennis Federation) at ITTFOceania.com.
About International Table Tennis Federation
The International Table Tennis Federation is responsible for the global sport of table tennis and has 218 affiliated National Associations. Table Tennis is an Olympic Sport, introduced at the 1988 Seoul Olympics Games. Table Tennis is also a Paralympic Sport.
Find out more about the International Table Tennis Federation at ITTF.com.