NT News

Aussies lay it all on the table for glory, break record

- JULIAN LINDEN

AUSTRALIA won another medal in table tennis to cap the best Paralympic performanc­e by the team ever.

The Aussies surpassed the previous Paralympic record of four medals set in 1964, by winning a silver in the women’s team event after going down to Poland 2-0 in the final.

That lifted the total to five medals in Tokyo – two golds and three silvers – with another medal already guaranteed in the men’s final.

After beating China in the semis, the Aussies came unstuck against Poland when Lina Lei and Yang Qian lost the doubles and Yang was beaten in her must-win singles match but there were no regrets.

“Everything has surpassed my expectatio­ns,” said Lei, who won gold in her individual event after moving to Australia from China.

“My goal was a medal, gold was a surprise.

We fought hard but we just fell short in doubles but overall, it’s been good.”

Yang also won gold in her singles event but didn’t play as well in the team event.

“Our doubles performanc­e wasn’t great. For singles, it was different from the singles semi-finals. I was more anxious. I wanted to kill off points earlier and I made more errors.”

Melissa Tapper, who represente­d Australia at both the Olympics and Paralympic­s, praised her new naturalise­d teammates for raising the spirits and performanc­es of everyone in the Australian squad.

“They are amazing for our culture and environmen­t. So it’s an honour to get to play alongside them,” she said.

“I’m just really excited to sleep. I will enjoy a bit of downtime, it’s been an incredible, crazy rollercoas­ter the last two years.

“I’m excited though that I get to go home with a silver medal.”

 ??  ?? Melissa Tapper.
Melissa Tapper.

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