Clifton's Games role

ROCKHAMPTON table tennis umpire Joe Clifton has received the official call-up to the "second best'' thing in his life ? officiating at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Understandably Clifton ranks his wedding to Kaylene Chopping in seven weeks time as the biggest event of his life.

However, the Commonwealth Games will still provide a valuable stepping stone.

"Ultimately I'd like to go to the Olympics and world championships ? I'm only 28 so there would be plenty of Olympics by the time I'm 60,'' Clifton said.

"Hopefully this is the start of a long journey.''

While the big goals are ever present, Clifton will firstly complete umpiring duties at a week-long world junior circuit event in Fiji starting on Saturday.

Clifton also officiated in the Oceania leg in New Caledonia last year where some of the top 100 juniors in the world were involved.

"You just have to refresh the rule book before you go,'' Clifton said.

"The level of players is a bit higher so you just have to step it up a bit.



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