Golden day for Australia: Men’s team to join Women’s in Tokyo
December 6, 2019
It was a success for Australia in the women’s team event at the Oceania Olympic Team Qualifications, with the men’s team following in their footsteps in a victory of similar imperious manner.
The Australian men’s team consisting of Heming Hu, Chris Yan, Kane Townsend, Dave Powell and Xavier Dixon booked their reservation at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in style. The team defeated New Zealand 3-0 and whilst the score might not show it, it was a battle to the end for Australia.
Chris Yan and Kane Townsend gave Australia the best possible start by beating Teng Teng Liu and Nathan Xu in an enthralling doubles match. The kiwi’s put up a tough fight but ultimately the Australian pair proved too strong defeating them 3-0 (11-8, 11-8, 13-11).
“Winning the doubles match was really important to us, it set us on course and the victory took a lot of pressure off for the rest of the team. Chris and I have played doubles a lot in the past and work very well together especially in high-pressure situations.” – Kane Townsend
Next up, Heming Hu doubled the advantage, accounting for Dean Shu in straight sets (13-11, 11-5, 11-9). The young kiwi challenged Hu but Oceania’s top seed was ready to face the challenge and overcame Shu in a thrilling match.
With a 2-0 lead, all eyes were on Yan to bring the victory home. In a match that had everyone on their edge of the seats, Yan recovered from a 2-1 deficit to defeat Nathan Xu 3-2 (11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 11-3, 11-9). Only 16 years old, Xu gave it his all on the table but the more experienced Yan was able to see off the challenge and seal the deal for Australia.
“We’re over the moon to have won both the Women’s and Men’s spot. The scoreline was a lot closer than it seemed, it was a tough match and it could’ve gone either way. Having just gotten from back the World Cup, it was really important for me to adjust and prepare for this tournament and am so happy to have gotten through the tight moments from my match with Dean.” – Heming Hu
CONGRATULATIONS to Australia's Men's team on winning a spot at next year's Olympic Games! 🏓🇦🇺🏆
After a year of hard work, it was a mission accomplished for Australia today but there is no rest for these players with the Australian Olympic Trials coming up in 5 weeks.
Australia Head Coach, John Murphy is delighted at the result and is excited for the next few months of trials and preparation coming up for Team Australia.
“It’s been a great day for us today, qualifying both the Men’s and Women’s teams for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Its been a big target for 2019, we’ve been very active this year as an association and we knew we were finishing off 2019 with this big competition and now we can finally relax a little and enjoy the upcoming holidays in good spirits. It’s now up to our players to qualify through the Australian trials in January next year and once we have our teams finalised we can start preparing to ensure that we have the best Australian team heading to Tokyo next year.” – John Murphy