Five-time Paralympian Lina Lei (table tennis) came into her Commonwealth Games debut in Birmingham ranked world no.1 in the class 9 women’s standing category. She lost a tight final 3-1 to teammate Qian Yang in the women’s 6-10 class final, the first time an all-Australian table tennis final has taken place at the Commonwealth Games. Lina was born with a deficiency in her right lower leg and began playing table tennis when she was five in Sichuan, China. When she was 14, she won the open singles and class 9 teams event at the 2002 world championships, then claimed her first Paralympic gold medal two years later in Athens. She went on to win five gold and three silver medals at four Paralympics for China, before moving to Australia after the Rio 2016 Games. At the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, Lina ended a 37-year gold-medal drought for Australia in the sport when she defeated her former Chinese teammate Guiyan Xiong to win the women’s class 9 singles title. She also claimed silver in the class 9-10 teams event. Lina plays out of the Dandenong Table Tennis Club in Melbourne where she is coached by Alois Rosario.
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