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Milly Tapper headlines Para-Table Tennis Tokyo team

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The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist is amongst the 11 Para-table tennis players selected for the Australian Paralympic team for the Tokyo Games.

Paralympics Australia has named 11 Para-table tennis team members to the Australian Paralympic Team headlined by Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Melissa Tapper.

Tapper, who won bronze as an able-bodied competitor at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, went on to the make history at the Rio 2016 Games becoming the first Australian to compete at the Olympics and Paralympics and has been selected again for both Games in Tokyo.

The addition of three multiple gold medal-winning former China representatives in Australia’s Para-table tennis squad for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games has helped lift the standard of the whole team as it attempts to secure our nation’s first gold medal in the sport in nearly 40 years.

Ma Lin, Lina Lei and Qian Yang – who have 10 Paralympic gold and six silver medals between them – were among 11 players confirmed for Tokyo by Paralympics Australia in a ceremony held remotely on Monday.

The squad also includes Australian Paralympic Team Co-Captain Danni Di Toro, a former wheelchair tennis world No.1 who will play at her seventh Paralympics, and Sam Von Einem, whose silver medal in the singles Class 11 classification at Rio was Australia’s first medal in Para-table tennis since Terry Biggs won gold in 1984.

“You couldn’t ask for a better team,” said Joel Coughlan, one of three squad captains alongside Tapper and Nathan Pellissier.

“We’ve got Milly, who plays in both the Olympics and Paralympics. We’ve got Danni, who has a huge amount of experience. She’s incredible to talk to and learn from. You’ve got myself and Nathan, the other two Captains who haven’t been to a Paralympics before but we’ve been part of the team for a long time.

“I’ve been in the Australian squad since 2009 and it’s been great to see the whole squad develop and grow. The professionalism of the whole group now is very impressive.”

Australian Team Chef de Mission Kate McLoughlin said: “There was a huge amount of competition for places in this squad, so each player selected should be very proud. However, I know they’ll feel their job is just starting. There is a strong desire among the players and staff to convert all that hard work into success at Paralympic level.

“I welcome our 11 Para-table tennis players to the Australian Paralympic Team and look forward to supporting them through the campaign.”

Australian Para-Table Tennis Paralympics Team

Name
Jake Ballestrino
Joel Coughlan
Danni Di Toro
Trevor Hirth
Rebecca Julian
Lina Lei
Lin Ma
Nathan Pellissier
Melissa Tapper
Sam Von Einem
Qian Yang

With thanks Paralympics Australia and Table Tennis Australia.

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