Bendigo to host International Table Tennis Federation Oceania Cup

MATCH: Table tennis star and Olympian Miao Miao gives City of Greater Bendigo mayor Lisa Ruffell some tips. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHYSTAR table tennis player and four time Olympian Miao Miao looks set to compete in Bendigo next year.
Nanjing Night Net

In town for yesterday’s announcement that Bendigo Stadium would host the International Table Tennis Federation Oceania Cup for three years, the Commonwealth Games medallist said there would be a high standard of competition.

“I remember playing in Bendigo maybe 15 years ago,” she said.

“It’s really exciting to compete, it’s a good opportunity to have good players together. I’m looking forward to training for it.”

Bendigo and District Table Tennis Association president Gary Warnest played a few points against Miao Miao yesterday.

“You probably saw I wasn’t quite at Olympic standard,” he said.

“But she was being very gentle with me.

“It’s something that I’ll be able to look back on and say that I’ve had a hit with an Olympian, it’s really great.

“But I’m more excited about the event itself; it’s a fabulous coup for Bendigo and great for table tennis.”

Miao Miao said training, fitness, concentration, technical skill and tactical moves would be needed in the competition. The event, to be held at the Bendigo Stadium from June 30 to July 2, will be broadcast across Australia on pay TV and in Fiji.

The competition is the sole qualifier for the World Cup, with a $20,000 prize pool.

It’s the first time the event will be held outside a capital city.

ITTF Oceania development officer Michael Brown said about 40 players would compete in the 2013 Oceania Cup, followed by 80 to 90 players in 2014.

“We’ll have the best players in the region competing and we’re expecting six or seven Olympians next year,” he said.

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