May 18, 2018

Vanuatu still in contention for a medal as Yoshua Shing makes the main draw. (Photo: Ron Zwiers)

Hopes of a hometown medal are still alive as Yoshua Shing has made the main draw at the 2018 ITTF-Oceania Cup in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

The local crowd cheered on their hero as he negotiated his way through the group stage with a win over Fiji’s Philip Wing. Shing was well in contention in his latter matches, even taking two games off defending champion David Powell. He will face New Zealand’s Dean Shu tomorrow morning in Korman Stadium as they fight for a place in the semi-final.

Meanwhile, the Men’s Singles final will not feature two Australian’s for the first time in the ITTF-Oceania Cup’s history. Matthew Ball topped his grouped today, causing the Aussie streak to end. The Kiwi was in fine form, defeating David Powell 12-1o in the seventh, while seeing off  Shing in style.

A recent stint training in England could be to explain for Ball’s phenomenal form here in Port Villa. The extra hours on the table certainly look to be paying dividends in the crunch moments, with the Kiwi holding himself with a new sense of confidence out on the court.

The first matches in the Men’s Singles main draw will see Papua New Guinea’s Geoffrey Loi up against Australia’s David Powell, while New Zealand’s Dean Shu takes on Vanuatu’s Yoshua Shing.