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Record day for table tennis team

29 July 2012

TABLE TENNIS: It was a record day at Excel arena, with four Australian table tennis players each winning in the singles matches on the same day for the first time in Olympic competition.

Justin Han, Miao Miao, Jian Fang-Lay and William Henzell each won their opening matches at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Han defeated Togo’s Mawussi Agbetoglo in six sets; Miao caused a boilover, beating Dana Hadacova from the Czech Republic also in six sets. Hadacova is ranked 100 places higher than Miao in the world rankings.

Lay and Henzell had easier passages, taking five sets to take down Brazil’s Ugia Silva and Hungary’s Adam Pattantyus respectively.

“We are on the move forward, it is a great achievement for the team,” Henzell said.

Section manager and 1996 Olympian Paul Langley was pleased that the team put its best foot forward on its biggest day.

“It has been a great day for our team,” Langley said.

“There were some nerves early and we fell behind in three of the matches, so for our players to be able to come back from those positions was very good.

“Miao and William in particular beat opponents that are ranked significantly higher than them. William had lost the last three times he faced Adam, so that made it even better. Miao and Jian are playing well, and Justin did very well playing at the Olympics for the first time.

“We are hoping that they keep playing well and see where the draw takes them.”

The team has plenty of experience at Olympic level, with both Lay and Miao representing Australia at a fourth Olympic Games. Henzell is at his third Games, while the 21 year-old Han is a debutant.

Han went down in his second match 5-11, 7-11, 7-11, 11-13 to Noashad Alamiyan of Iran, the middle east’s number one player.

Miao was unable to cause another upset as she fell in her second round match to Yi-Hua Yiang from Chinese Taipei, in straight sets 7-11, 9-11, 7-11, 4-11.

Action continues on Sunday with Henzell and Lay facing tough second round encounters.

Results:

Justin Han dft. Mawussi Agbetoglo (Togo) 9-11, 11-7, 11-1, 8-11, 11-8

Miao Miao dft. Dana Hadacova (Czech Republic) 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7

Jian Fang-Lay dft. Ugia Silva (Brazil) 8-11, 11-1, 11-5, 11-6, 11-1

William Henzell dft. Adam Pattantyus (Hungary) 12-10, 11-8, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9

Han lost to Noashad Alamiyan (Iran) 5-11, 7-11, 7-11, 11-13

Miao lost to Yi-Hua Yiang (Chinese Taipei) 7-11, 9-11, 7-11, 4-11


Kevin Diggerson in London
Olympics.com.au 

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