I figure there wouldn’t be too many people who haven’t at least once in their lives fancied themselves with a table tennis racquet in hand staring down the opposition in the home games room. Table tennis debuted at the ’88 Seoul Olympics and Australia has been represented every year since. The best result for the Aussie women has been 5th at Sydney 2000 (out of 34 teams).
So who do we cheer for? She may not be a household name but Melissa Tapper will create some history in Rio by becoming the first Australian athlete to compete at both the Paralympic Games and the Olympic Games. Respect. Her team mate Jian Fang Lay will compete at her 5th Olympic Games (equalling beach volleyballer Natalie Cook’s record).
Call me crazy but I am guessing the Chinese will be veeerrryyy short odds. The Chinese women have won every Olympic gold medal awarded in the sport (and 24 of the 28 golds ever awarded in both sexes). But these sort of records have to tumble some time and we all love an Aussie underdog. Dust off those racquets, get the wrists flexing and bring it on!