|Karen Li (NZL)|
Image from WTTA
It will be our sporting hero Karen Li (NZL) who will tangle with 3 others in the Intercontinental Cup Competition in Singapore starting this weekend. Those 3 are Wu Xue (Dominican Rep.), Dina Meshref (EGY) and Ariel Hsing (USA) who also qualified in their respective continents. Although not entering the competition as favourite, that is left with Wu Xue who has a world ranking of 56, Karen is the only competitor to have experienced the Intercontinental Cup before and in last year's competition in Kuala Lumpur she excelled in her match against the eventual winner Yang Feng, who she defeated, but unfortunately slipped into 4th position after losing her other two matches. Although now 176th in the World, Karen is a strong contender for the win if she hits that devastating form we all know her well for here in Oceania. Having won the 2010 Oceania Championships and 2011 Oceania Cup, Karen will be fighting hard for New Zealand to try and win her spot in the main Volkswagon 2011 Women's World Cup.
With Wu Xue the top contender, a left handed pengrip player from the Dominican Republic, it will be a tough task for Karen who also represented Oceania in the 2006 Intercontinental Cup. First she will have to beat her other two youthful opponents, 17 year old Dina Meshref from Egypt currently ranked 242, and of course the young United States Champion Ariel Hsing ranked above Karen now at 164th. We will all be sitting and watching eagerly to see if Karen's experience of international table tennis can pull her through.
Best of luck to Karen!