Saturday 29 September 2012

Teams Set to Clash at New Zealand Senior Championships 2012

Once again we reach the pivotal event in New Zealand's Table Tennis calendar, the New Zealand Senior Table Tennis Championships 2012, to be held in Auckland, one of the ITTF Hotspot locations and a quality venue. Defending champions, Auckland, have entered a strong combination of players in their hopes of capturing the title again but will no doubt face stiff competition from the other associations who are hungry to remove them from their usual top spot on the podium.

Phillip Xiao (Auckland 1)
This year sees the inclusion of a small team from Xi'an, China. Will they be able to produce a threat to the local champions? Most likely, we shall have to wait and see what tricks their dedicated training can bring to the foray. The grading matches for the top grade are between Canterbury 2 and Manawatu and between North Harbour 2 and Wellington, no doubt a close knit battle will ensue with these teams being relatively even in nature. 

North Harbour have had great results in the teams previously especially in 2010 when they made the finals. "If we put our best foot forward and Brad  Chen is able to get the results we know he is capable of achieving then I have high hopes for North Harbour to do well" Liam Young. Canterbury are also a team which have produced quality results, entering a strong team this year led by four of New Zealand's highest quality players; John Cordue, Yi-Sien Lin, Malcolm Darroch and Simon Wallace. "Our team is quite balanced and strong with myself, Yi-Sien, Malcolm and Simon. We aim to make the final and ultimately beat the favourites Auckland 1 there." John Cordue.

Auckland boast a strong first team of Teng Teng Liu, Phillip Xiao, Zhiyang Cheng, Kevin Wu and Daniel Lowe. With the top 2 players in the country they no doubt have the ability to repeat last years win of the event with a similar combination. Their second team with Josh Alexandre, Roger Rao, Oliver Scarlett, Ben Collins and Wayne Gear also poses a strong threat to other teams trying to make it to the top. 'Auckland have a strong field of top players in all their teams, the opposition is tough but we should be confident that we have prepared well enough to make the finals and try and win in 2012' Roger Rao.
Waikato's top team is crammed full of talent and proven ability also. Led by Peter Craven, the 5 man team also includes James Harter, Mark and Aaron Page and Daniel Delbourgo an handy player previously from across the ditch. Having placed 3rd in 2010 Waikato will be hoping to improve on their success there where they were forced out of the final on a countback. 

A moment in time for Bay of Plenty who have entered their first team at the New Zealand Championships in many years, John Lea, John Tuki, Xavier Lea and Geoff Martin will head to Auckland as the first Bay of Plenty team since before the association hibernated in 2004. With all these quality and surprising teams, the mens event promises to be exciting and packed full of action and determined players!

Feng Jie (Auckland 1)
Auckland are again the favourites in the women's team event with a strong combination in their number 1 team of Vicky Yang, Sarah Her-Lee, Feng Jie, Si Zhuo Huo and Sara Hu. These players are the hot favourites in any circumstance with a well balanced and high level team all with proven track records against other top players. Waikato sneaks in a surprise with Armindeep Singh and Jessica Macaskill drawing Wellington's Catherine Zhou from the draft pool to make up a handy team of tough players. Their results will be interesting to see, all players have achieved great results in the past and have the potential to do so again in 2012!

Manawatu's Natalie Paterson slips into the Otago team as a draft, combining with Gemma Buzzard and Emma Paton. No doubt Natalie will be looking for the best results she can to help her team achieve to their potential.Canterbury also field an interesting team, Angel Huang and Ola Ratka combine with a new face. Timea Tapai formerly from Serbia will be a player to watch in the women's team event. Having previously been ranked in the world's top 200 players. We will have to watch carefully to see how she performs against the other teams and see if the young and talented Angel Huang and Ola Ratka can keep up with the pace to convert the team matches against the other teams. 


  1. Who is Matt hetherington playing for?

  2. Who is Craig Dye playing for?

  3. Craig isn't in a team due to a selection dispute with North Harbour in which Craig wasn't selected for a team, despite a large body of players protesting in Craig's favour.

  4. Who is Craig Dye playing for? I rly need 2 know ;)


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