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Para-table tennis hotshots complete star-studded Birmingham line-up

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With eight additional Team Members, the Australian table tennis team is set for Birmingham, the 14-strong squad is the largest team to represent the green and gold at a Commonwealth Games.

 

An inspiring squad of champions blessed with courage and resilience has been named in the Australian Para-table tennis team for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Six Para-table tennis stars and two able-bodied players have now been selected to round out a 14-strong team, the biggest Australian table tennis squad for a Commonwealth Games, who will be vying for gold when they represent the green and gold between July 28 and August 8.

Seven-time Paralympian Danni Di Toro has amassed a spectacular career, and now achieves another special milestone as she heads to her first Commonwealth Games and the opportunity to be a part of the fully integrated Table Tennis and Australian Team at the Games.

“I have loved watching the Commonwealth Games from a far during my sporting career and it is amazing that I now have the opportunity to be on the Australian Team in Birmingham,” Di Toro said.

“It is awesome to have both the Para and able-bodied Team Members unified in the one Australian Team and being in the same villages and sharing stories and experiences with one another at the Games.

“We have assembled a great Table Tennis team, and I know we are all going to give it our best over there in Birmingham.”

South Australian Amanda Tscharke is amongst the six players making their debut in the Para-table tennis squad, which takes to 11 the number of first-timers in our full table tennis team.

The working mother of two who lives at Nuriootpa, in the Barossa region, was left paraplegic following an accident in 1997. She has since shone on the national stage, winning a cache of silver medals in athletic pursuits before making the switch to table tennis. An international berth has eluded her – until now.

Fellow debutants Lin Ma, Qian Yang and Lina Lei, who are all based in Melbourne, are decorated athletes and gold medal chances in Birmingham. The trio, who have a combined haul of 23 Paralympic medals, are familiar with the pressures of international competition having represented Australia at the Tokyo Paralympics, where Qian Yang and Lina Lei claimed gold medals and Lin Ma won silver.

 

 

Sydneysider Junjian (Jessy) Chen, 32, rounds out the list of debutants, and the selection of the Kurt Fearnley Scholarship recipient is a testament to his hard work and dedication to his sport.

Chunyi (Tracy) Feng and Xin (Chris) Yen, both from Sydney, join the six able-bodied team members selected in April after winning the Table Tennis Australia selection tournament earlier this month.

Birmingham will be the second Games for Tracy after competing at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, while Chris heads to his third Games after competing at the Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Australian Commonwealth Games Chef de Mission Petria Thomas OAM was excited for the latest additions to Australia’s table tennis team and looking forward to seeing them compete in Birmingham.

“It is wonderful to welcome these eight Table Tennis players to the Australian Commonwealth Games Team that are is bound for Birmingham,” Thomas said.

“Table Tennis Australia have put forward an exciting group of six Para-table tennis players who are going to be making their Commonwealth Games debuts at the Games.

“And congratulations to returning alumni Tracy and Chris who earned their selection to the Australian Team through the qualification tournament earlier this month, they will join the six Team Members announced in April.

“With just 59 days to go until the Games, the Table Tennis Team Members can now focus on their preparations towards Birmingham where they will be bold, brave and brilliant.”

Table Tennis Australia CEO Scott Houston welcomed today’s selection of remaining Table Tennis Australia athletes to make for a unified team heading to Birmingham.

“We are delighted to be sending a record 14 athletes to the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and we welcome the announcement of the final eight team members today,” Houston said.

“Our six Para-athletes will all be making their Commonwealth Games debuts, while for Chris and Tracy it will be their third and second consecutive Commonwealth Games appearances respectively. We know all Team Members are ready to take on the best players in the Commonwealth.

“On behalf of Table Tennis Australia, we celebrate the eight Team Members selected today and the entire table tennis delegation. Having both able-bodied and Para-athletes representing Australia as a unified table tennis team is something that TTA and the Australian table tennis community can be proud of. We can’t wait to be cheering for them all in Birmingham.”

The able-bodied Table Tennis Team Members will compete in singles, doubles, mixed doubles and men’s and women’s teams events.

The Para-Table Tennis Team Members will compete in Men’s Singles Classes 3-5 and Men’s Singles Classes 8-10 and Women’s Singles Classes 3-5 and Women’s Singles Classes 6-10.

 

Australian Table Tennis Team – Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games:

NAME EVENT AGE COMMONWEALTH GAMES SUBURB STATE POSTCODE
Danni Di Toro Women’s Wheelchair (Classes 3-5) 47 Debut Brunswick VIC 3056
Lina Lei Women’s Standing (Classes 6-10) 34 Debut Templestowe VIC 3106
Amanda Tscharke Women’s Wheelchair (Classes 3-5) 40 Debut Nuriootpa SA 5355
Qian Yang Women’s Standing (Classes 6-10) 25 Debut Ringwood VIC 3134
Junjian (Jessy) Chen Men’s Wheelchair (Classes 3-5) 32 Debut Ermington NSW 2115
Lin Ma Men’s Standing (Classes 8-10) 32 Debut Wheelers Hill VIC 3150
Chunyi (Tracy) Feng 34 2nd Games (2018 - 4th: Women's Team, R16: Women's Singles & Women's Doubles) Burwood NSW 2134
Xin (Chris) Yan Men's Table Tennis 33 3rd Games (2014 - Quarter-finals: Mixed Doubles & Men's Team, R32: Men's Doubles; 2018 - Quarter-finals: Men's Doubles & Men's Team, R16: Mixed Doubles) Hurstville NSW 2220
TEAM MEMBERS ANNOUNCED IN APRIL
Jian Fang Lay Women's Table Tennis 49 6th Games (2002 – 2x Silver: Mixed Doubles, Women's Team; Bronze: Women's Doubles; 2006 – Silver: Women's Team; Bronze: Women's Doubles; 2014 – Silver: Women's Doubles, Bronze: Women's Team) Bundoora VIC 3083
Min Hyung Jee Women's Table Tennis 35 Debut Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
Yangzi Liu Women's Table Tennis 19 Debut Sydney NSW 2000
Dillon Chambers Men's Table Tennis 24 Debut Mildura VIC 3500
Nicholas Lum Men's Table Tennis 16 Debut Glen Waverley VIC 3150
Finn Luu Men's Table Tennis 17 Debut North Melbourne VIC 3051

Table Tennis was initially an optional event on the Commonwealth Games schedule and was first introduced at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games. It’s proven so popular that it now has ‘Core Sport’ status, meaning it will remain on the schedule at all future Games.

Australia has won 12 total medals in Table Tennis, with our first gold coming the way of Melissa Tapper four years ago at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games when she won gold in the Women’s Singles Class 6-10 Para-Table Tennis event.

Tapper remains Australia’s only gold medallist to date, with Jian Fang Lay the most decorated Table Tennis Team Member winning seven medals, four silver and three bronze.

 

Commonwealth Games table tennis medals summary by nation:

NATION GOLD SILVER BRONZE TOTAL
Singapore 22 14 14 50
England 7 6 8 21
India 6 4 10 20
Nigeria 3 5 4 12
Australia 1 6 5 12

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held from Thursday 28 July to Monday 8 August with the Table Tennis competition to be conducted from Friday 29 July all the way through to Monday 8 August with the competition to be held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC).

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