Australia took home all four titles at the 2015 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Oceania Para-Table Tennis Championships, which took place 10 April in Bendigo, Australia.
The 2015 edition of this biennial event marked the first time an event has integrated able-bodied and para-table tennis athletes in the history of the ITTF. In addition the event was a Rio 2016 Paralympic Games qualifier, attracted a number of new athletes and saw Fiji participate in their first ever international para-table tennis tournament.
Barak Mirzachi (Australia)
Mirzachi claimed gold in a close match (5-11, 11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 16-13) against fellow Australian Joel Coughlan in the Men’s Class 6-10 final.
To secure his place in the final, Mirzachi beat New Zealand’s Class 9-10 2013 champion Victor Kamizona.
Merewalesi Vakacegu Rodan (Fiji)
Rodan impressed the para-table tennis world, beating Australian No. 1 Rosalie Turnbull in her final round robin match and placing second in the Class 3-5 event to Daniela Di Toro of Australia. Rodan started playing just six months prior to the event, following the introduction of the Pacific Sports Partnership Smash Down Barriers programme, which operates in Fiji, Kiribati and Vanuatu. The programme looks to provide opportunities for people with an impairment to participate in sport.
Melissa Tapper (Australia)
Tapper who competed in both the able-bodied ITTF Oceania Cup and the ITTF Oceania Para-Table Tennis Championships, was victorious in para-table tennis, defending her title in the Class 6-10 event. The Paralympian beat Australian Andrea McDonnell in the final.
Daniela Di Toro (Australia)
Di Toro dominated in her first international para-table tennis competition following her switch from wheelchair tennis. She was undefeated in the Class 3-5 competition, showing she is a force to be reckoned with in the para-table tennis world.
The 2015 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Oceania Para-Table Tennis Championships was comprised of four official events Class 3-5 women’s singles (round robin), Class 3-5 men’s singles (round robin), Class 6-10 women’s singles (round robin) and Class 6-10 men’s singles (group stage to knockout).