Aussie women dominate table tennis start

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Steve Jancetic / AAP News

 

Australia’s table tennis teams have endured a mixed start to their Birmingham Games, with the women enjoying a dominant opening day.

Powered by a Jian Fang Lay masterclass, the Australian Women’s Table Tennis Team has cruised past Malaysia to begin the nation’s Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games table tennis campaign.

In the opening women’s doubles match-up, Commonwealth Games debutants Minhyung Jee and Yangzi Liu overcame some first set jitters to defeat the Malaysian pair of Ying Ho and Karen Lyne Mas in four sets 3-1 (7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-5).

Next up was the living legend of Australian Table Tennis Jian Fang Lay who put in a commanding opening performance to defeat Li Sian Alice Chang.

Lay displayed the poise of a six-time Commonwealth Games representative to win in straight sets 11-1, 11-6, 11-7.

Rising star Yangzi Liu showed composure beyond her 19 years to defeat Karen Lyne 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 11-5) to secure the tie for the Australian Team.

In the men’s team first group rotation, the Malaysian men proved too strong for the emerging youngsters on the Australian Team.

Finn Luu, 18, and Nicholas Lum, 17, pushed the Malaysian doubles combo of Qi Shen Wong and Jayen Choong to the edge before falling in the opening contest of the tie.

Three-time Commonwealth Games representative Chris Yan battled Chee Feng Leong to a fifth and deciding set before going down in the final frame.

Youngster Nicholas Lum showed vigour but ultimately went down to his more experienced Malaysian opponent to bring the tie to an end 0-3.

Led by veteran Jian Fang Lay, Australia’s women’s team dropped only one game in dominant 3-0 triumphs over Malaysia and Mauritius.

Lay wasn’t even required in the win over Mauritius, the strong effort leaving the Aussies in the box seat to secure a finals berth ahead of their final group game against winless Maldives.

The news wasn’t as good for the men’s team, who lost their opening clash with Malaysia 3-0 before rebounding to beat Canada 3-2.

Dillon Chambers was pivotal for Australia, winning both his singles contests, including a 3-1 victory over Jeremy Hazin in the decider.

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