April 5, 2018

Tracey Feng; firmly focused. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

Australia has topped their group in the Women’s Team Event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games after a thrilling 3-1 over Canada.

The match was full of swings, with both teams showing some top table tennis.

First out on the court was Australia’s Tracy Feng up against Alicia Cote.

The two were neck and neck all the way to the end. The crowd couldn’t have asked for a closer first match.

At 9-9 in the fifth game Australian coach Miao Miao called a timeout with Feng to serve. Obviously the advice paid off as Feng moved up to 10-9.

The crowd then held their collective breath as Cote lobbed from the back of the court. Feng held her nerve and made a match winning smash, putting Australia on the board with the early lead.

Next up was Jian Fang Lay against Zhanng Mo. Lay had never won against Zhang Mo in the past. The short pimple play from Zhang negates a lot of Lay’s long pimple twiddling wizardry.

Today history repeated. But only just.

Zhang took the first, Lay the second. The pair continued to exchange games as they soon found themselves in a deciding game.

Lay seemed too the underdog heading in to the make or break moment. Her two games had come by the score line 11-9.

The match was in a deadlock. 5-5. 7-7. 9-9. Nothing could seperate them.

But it would be heartbreak for the Aussie fans. Zhang kept her winning streak alive, winning the deciding game 11-9 to maintain her perfect record against lay.

But Lay wasn’t to be disheartened. She then partnered with Miao Miao to win a quick 3-0 doubles match to put Australia in to a 2-1 lead.

Next up was an old school matchup of short pimples versus short pimples. Miao Miao was up against Zhang Mo a serious smackdown was in store.

It was always going to be a nail biter. Miao saw a chance to close out the match go awry at 10-9 leading 2-1. Zhang pounced and brought the game back to level.

But the home crowd got behind Miao and guided her over the line to win the match for Australia 3-1.

It was an emotional experience for one fan in the crowd. Miao Miao’s husband was watching on with their child. Both were following enthusiastically and when Australia won, there were tears of joy.

“My husband knows the Commonwealth Games are really important for Australia. I’ve played so many times before andn won medals, but this is his first time to see me play. He’s probably more nervous than me.” Miao Miao

In the second arena here at Oxenford studios Fiji came up against top seeds Singapore.

Singapore took the match 3-0, but there was a reason to celebrate.

The highlight came when Sally Yee and Carolyn Lee paired up for doubles. The duo were able to win the second game 11-7. Putting a game on the board against a team as strong as Singapore is a huge feat.
The game on the board may inspire the fans back in Fiji.

“I want to wish everyone in Fiji a happy World Table Tennis Day tomorrow!” Sally Yee

Maybe the fun day will find the next Fiji international representative.

Meanwhile, Vanuatu put up a fight against Team England in their first match of the Commonwealth Games. Despite some incredible shot making and defensive play that had England second guessing themselves, status prevailed. Vanuatu went down 3-0.