March 24, 2017

David Powell, out to defend his title in Suva. (Photo: Andrew Perryman – BENDIGO WEEKLY)

We’re three weeks away from the 2017 ITTF-Oceania Cup and the event is shaping up to be Oceania’s biggest tournament yet.

Suva the capital of Fiji and the largest city in the South Pacific will play host to the region’s tentpole event. White sandy beaches and twenty-five degree weather await the athletes. And so does some serious prizes. With AU$40,000 up for grabs, this is not your ordinary pennant.

Winner – AU$6,000
Runner-Up – AU$4,000
Third Place – AU$3,000
Fourth Place – AU$2,000
Fifth/Sixth Place – AU$1,500 each
Seventh/Eighth Place – AU$1,000 each

Not only will the winner take home a cheque that’s even too large for carry on luggage, they will also earn themselves a spot at the 2017 ITTF World Cup.

So who is in the running for the title?

With the players list confirmed, who is most likely to take the top prize?

The Australian contingent will be the favourite in both the men’s and women’s after completely dominating the podium in 2016. Will it be New Zealand that resists the green and gold? Or could the surprises come from closer to home. Fiji’s sister act, Sally and Grace Yee, will have a home ground advantage and have seen vast improvement through international training and competition. Could the crowd carry them to the podium?

It’s going to be a cyclone of spin in Suva when the athletes touchdown in three weeks time.