Australia has shown it is the top nation in table tennis at the 2016 Oceania Table Tennis Championship which also featured the Oceania Olympic Qualification Tournament. Three spots per gender were up for grab with a nation only allowed to qualify a maximum of two athletes per gender. The Oceania Table Tennis Championship was held in Bendigo, Australia from March 22nd to March 25th 2016.
The format of the tournament was a bit complicated. Using the rankings from the recently completed Oceania Championship the top two entrants faced off each other with the winner qualifying to the Olympics. The loser would play against the winner of the 3 vs. 4 match for the second Olympic quota. For the third Olympic quota the path was the winner of the 5 vs. 6 match played against the loser of the 3 vs. 4 match and the winner of that match played against the loser of the second Olympic quota final to win the final quota.
In the women’s singles it was Australia’s Jian Fang Yan which won the first quota defeating compatriot Melissa Tapper 4-1. Tapper would go to take the second quota as she defeated Fiji’s Grace Yee 4-0. Tapper will be the first Australian and second table tennis player to compete at both the Olympics and Paralympics. The final quota came down to Grace Yee and her sister Sally Yee. Sally would reverse the loss that she suffered by the hands of her sister as she sealed up the final Olympic quota 4-0.
In the men’s singles Australia’s David Powell sealed the first quota with a narrow 4-3 victory over his compatriot Chris Yan. Yan would qualify himself as he defeated New Zealand’s Tengteng Liu 4-0 in the second quota final. The final quota was between Liu and Vanuatu’s Yoshua Shing. Liu would go on to win the final quota defeating Shing, 4-0.
With Australia grabbing two single quotas for both genders they are almost guaranteed a spot in the team events. Not only would Fiji or New Zealand have to qualify a second athlete through the world rankings, but they must also would have to achieve a higher team ranking than Australia by the cut-off point.
Quotas by Nations
- Australia – 4
- Fiji – 1
- New Zealand – 1
- ITTF. 2016 Oceania Olympic Qualification Tournament Men Results. Access on March 25 2016.
- ITTF. 2016 Oceania Olympic Qualification Tournament Women Results. Access on March 25 2016.