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SportsTalk - Prime Time for BOP Table Tennis

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

It is prime-time for BOP Table Tennis, with lots going on around the Bay.

There was moderate success at the North Island champs, with Xavier Lea winning silver in boys under-18 and under-15 doubles and Max Henderson finishing as an under-13 boys’ singles semi-finalist. Abbey Daisley was women’s C-Grade runner-up, and a multiple doubles finalist.

With growing entries, the Bay Schools Championships was forced to be run across two weeks at QEYC. The Otumoetai Intermediate team of Drew Tilsley, Joey Deckers and Alex Freeman dominated their boy’s competition. Tauranga Intermediate was second, but their girls’ team, Emma Bettelheim, Holly Ramsden and Sophie Karl dominated first division girls. Mount Intermediate, led by Marielle Dulangon, dominated second division, appearing next strongest.

The College Event standard was high, drawing multi-skilled athletes from other codes. The Tauranga Girls team of Amy Earles, Jordan-Lee Munroe-Grennell, Tui Temoku and Abbey Nyhoff, were formidable, while Otumoetai girls, Zing Gau, Kris Groenewald and Tara Sanson also impressed.

The Boys and Mixed Senior Events were closely contested, culminating with a key victory by Otumoetai’s Lucas Tilsley against Rotorua. In year 9-10, Tauranga Boys, led by Max Henderson, edged out a strong Papamoa line-up in their opening match, and were untroubled thereafter. Both schools travel to the National Secondary Schools Champs next week. Bethlehem College finished runner-up amidst some uneven contests.

Table Tennis Tauranga recently hosted two Special Olympics ‘Have a Go’ days. Most participants came from special schools and their satellites and especially enjoyed their experiences with three Stag robot machines.

We look forward to ten days of table tennis at QEYC in early September. On Sunday 4th a Schoolteacher Coaching Course is being run, with spaces still available for anyone keen to deliver table tennis at grassroots level. An evening umpiring course will also be conducted, on Wednesday 7th. Email for further information on either.

AIMS Games begins Monday 5th, with 125 participants creating a packed schedule. Finals are being played on the Friday, with spectator’s welcome.

The BOP Open follows on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th. Open finals are scheduled for Saturday evening, and several international players like Matt Hetherington and Phillip Xiao should feature. Veteran’s events dominate Sunday.

The Open is excellent preparation for many BOP players headed to TTNZ Nationals in Auckland later in September, with strong boys and girl’s teams likely and a men’s team including former NZ representatives, David Kilmister and Calvin Kwong.

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