Champions play for glory at top

TWO of Rockhampton's leading table tennis players are currently in different parts of the world, one representing the nation for the first time and the other playing for the state again.

Joel Coughlan's selection in the Australian team at the Asian and Oceania Regional Championships for athletes with disabilities in Amman, in Jordan, is quite an accomplishment for an athlete who could easily have considered his sporting conquests would be quite limited following a serious accident a couple of years ago.

The city's leading female veteran table tennis player, Pam Clarke, jetted to Sydney a few days ago to represent Queensland in the Australian Veteran Championships. Clarke, who has played for the state at national events at various levels numerous times in the past, will contest individual and team events in the over-50 category.

While Coughlan and Clarke were preparing for their respective trips, the city's current women's champion was packing her bags prior to her departure to Canberra due to a transfer within her employment. Susan Jones, who has lived in Rockhampton since mid-2006, will be a big loss to the sport locally.

Jones represented Tasmania at both junior and open levels and is rated by many as one of the best female players that state has produced in recent times. During the stint in Melbourne she had the opportunity of wearing a Victoria uniform, and win an Australian title.

New seasons of fixtures hit off at the Leichhardt Park Table Tennis Centre in Campbell Street. In open grade a three-person team fixture is being played based on the best of five game format. The only players undefeated in the last round were Dane Coughlan, Shaun Pettett, Scott Headon and Joel Coughlan.

Headon continued with his sound form prior to the break to post handy straight-sets wins over Dave Hockings, Jay Killoran and Ann-Louise Stewart. Craig Ottaway almost sprang a surprise on Killoran when he got out of the blocks early to lead by two games to one. However, Killoran's consistency paid off and he wore down his opponent in the decider.



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