Rocky’s table tennis talent earns state selection
In an incredible outcome, all of Rockhampton’s players who attended the Queensland Senior Closed and Junior Table Tennis Carnival staged at Townsville just after Easter have been selected in state teams.
This carnival, which was played across two stages with the changeover on the same day, hit off with the annual junior inter-club team matches as well as traditional singles and doubles individual events in five categories for boys and girls between under-11 and under-19.
This week Table Tennis Queensland released the state squads to participate in the Australian Senior, Youth, Junior and Para Championships at Caloundra during the July school holidays.
Matthew Steffen and Nick Green both made the state under-19 boys team, while Emily Steffen was the first one chosen in the under-15 girls outfit after she won the state singles title in this section for the second consecutive year.
Colte Nolan was rated the second-best player in the under-11 division at the Q-Juniors and he walked into the state team in this age group, while his younger brother Cruz was selected in the B-team in this section along with promising youngsters from Wynnum and Townsville.
While the national junior competition is continuing with the traditional three player per team match format, which often results in four players chosen for each side, the national body is following the new international rules for open team competitions which is the two person per team match concept.
Consequently, only three players are now being selected in each senior side as opposed to four and sometimes five in the past. And, states are permitted to field several teams in both the male and female team competitions.
Joel Coughlan and Matthew Pettett enjoyed a solid state seniors and have both been chosen in the Queensland C-squad along with Yudong Shi who plays out of the Wynnum club.
A month ago, one of the state’s stronger female players, Kelsey Le Maistre, relocated to Rockhampton from the metropolitan area and after two rounds in the local top grade fixture competition, joined her current teammates from Wynnum at the state titles where her team won the gold medal in the women’s team fixture.
Le Maistre further demonstrated what an asset she will be to the local club when she was rated third-best senior female at the tournament and selected in the state open women’s squad for the nationals.
Last weekend Coughlan attended the Victoria Open Championships at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre as part of his competition program relative to potential selection in the Australian team for the Tokyo Paralympics.
He played strongly to reach the round of 16 in the prestigious men’s singles event and joined his regular para-doubles partner, Ma Lin, to reach the final of the men’s doubles after beating the top-seeded pair in the semi-final.