Pacific School Games
Last November, NSW juniors competed in the Pacific School Games in Adelaide against China, Macau, India, and Cambodia as well as Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Canberra and the Northern Territory.
Competition was in a number of sections with teams competing in Junior Boys, Junior Girls, Junior Mixed, Hopes (age 12 and under) Boys, Hopes Girls, and Hopes Mixed, as well as the physical impairment sections.
The teams representing New South Wales were:-
Junior Boys Junior Girls Junior Mixed
Eddie Belokopytov Lucy Koh Eddie Belokopytov
Jayden Lam Rose Zhang Jayden Lam
Matthew Leung Matthew Leung
Hopes Boys Hopes Girls Hopes Mixed
Adam Masen Hy Anh Tran Nguyen Adam Masen
Cedrik Sussebach Chermaine Quah (Vic) Cedrik Sussebach
Eric Zeng Hy Anh Tran Nguyen
Sasha Dansereau (NSW)
Matthew Young (WA)
Overall, New South Wales were the top performing Australian team and performed creditably against some of the national teams.
New South Wales were drawn in Pool B of the Junior Mixed Teams event and came fourth in the group.
Whilst China beat New South Wales comfortable 3-0, our juniors made it very difficult for Macau. Whilst they were beaten 3-0, every set was decided in the fifth. The result might well have been 3-0 to NSW. NSW were victorious against the other Australian States.
NSW junior boys team were drawn in Pool B of this event and came fourth in their group. Whilst the winners of the group, India, beat NSW, Jayden Lam and Matthew Leung combined to take the doubles in a close five setter – the result being 4-1 to India.
Jayden continued his good form to beat the Macau junior, Kuok Wa Lon. Whilst this match was won 4-1 by Macau, it could have been closer with Eddie Belokopytov narrowly going down 11-9 in the fifth set against Kuok Wa Lon.
In the match for third position, Cambodia scraped in against NSW 3-2. Jayden and Eddie both won one singles. The doubles was won 11-6 in the fifth set to allow Cambodia to take third place in the group by the narrowest of margins.
Congratulations to our junior boys for competing strongly against some solid national teams.
Whilst NSW finished fifth in this group, they did have some good results. Whilst China and India proved a little bit to strong for NSW, our girls performed extremely well against Macau and Queensland - being narrowly beaten 3-2 by both of these teams.
A special congratulations to Lucy Koh who finished this section of the competition with a 50% win record in the singles.
NSW were drawn into Pool A of this category and finished a creditable fourth behind China, India and Macau. In the match for fourth place against Queensland, congratulations go to Cedric Sussebach and Hy Anh Tran Nguyen who came from two games down to eventually take their doubles match 11-9 in the fifth. This turned out to be the deciding rubber.
NSW were drawn in Pool B of the event and finished third behind India and Victoria. They comfortably accounted for Northern Territory, Queensland and the combined Western Australian Canberra teams, and will surely learn from the experience of playing against India and Victoria.
Whilst our Hopes girls team finished behind the international teams and the teams from other Australian states, they will gain from the experience of competing at such a high level.
NSW won this event – taking out the gold medal, - with a little help from our Western Australian friend.
In what was expected to possibly be one of the deciding matches, NSW held on to win a tight match against Macau. Chan Chon from Macau narrowly beat Matthew Young in four sets. Sasha quickly levelled the score at 1-1 with a comfortable win against Ng Weng San. Matthew and Sasha combined to take the doubles 15-13 in the fourth. The match between Sasha and Chan Chon was one of the closest of the competition with Chan Chon taking the honours 12-10 in the fifth set to level the rubbers at 2-2. In the deciding match, Matthew trailed 1-2 before coming home strongly to take the next two sets 11-7, 11-4 to give NSW a win against Macau.
NSW had a close game against the strong Queensland team. Sasha won his two singles and combined with Matthew to take the doubles for NSW to win 3-2.
By Richard Lassen
Table Tennis NSW