Talent turns on the heat in Tonga
June 29, 2018
Oceania stalwarts held their ground today as the maiden ITTF-Oeania Tour event kicked off in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.
The ITTF-Oceania Tour | Tonga has seen a turnout of more than thirty athletes from five countries from the Oceania region, and the favourites haven’t faltered on the opening day of action.
Top seed Heming Hu cruised through the group stage of the Men’s Singles to set himself up a date with the quarterfinals. There he will meet 2017 Tongan National Champion Jade Palavi. It will be a tall order for Palavi to make a dent in Olympian Hu’s defences, but he will certainly come out looking to give the Aussie a game on his home turf.
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Dean Shu had a similar path to the main draw, sailing through to the playoff rounds. Also impressing were Fiji’s Vicky Wu and Philip Wing, both negotiating their way to a quarterfinal berth.
And not to be out done by Oceania mainstays, Solomon Island’s Gary Nuopula made an impressive display to top his group and progress in style to the quarterfinal stage.
In the Women’s Singles it was the sister act of Sally and Grace Yee that continued to show that they are a dominating force in Oceania. Both maintained clean sheets as the progressed through the group stage unscathed. It will be up to Tonga to topple the Fijians, with local hopes Luseane Pepa and Eseta Vi progressing to the semifinal.
With a share of AU$3000 prize money on the line, plus precious points as athletes try to qualify for the 2019 ITTF-Ocenia Cup, the final day of action is certainly going to get heated.