Ta­ble ten­nis champs re­turn

Bay of Plenty Times - - SPORT -

The New Zealand Open Ta­ble Ten­nis Cham­pi­onships re­turn to Tau­ranga for the first time in 40 years to­day with the week-long event at the Queen El­iz­a­beth Youth Cen­tre run­ning through un­til next Satur­day.

Tony Liu of Auck­land is proven as the best player in the coun­try and is here to de­fend the four ti­tles he won last year – the Mens Sin­gles, Men’s Dou­bles, Mixed Dou­bles and Team cham­pi­onship.

Liu is yet to be beaten by any New Zealand player since ar­riv­ing in the coun­try in 2011.

Sun­shine Li is the de­fend­ing cham­pion in the women’s sin­gles.

There are 56 Bay of Plenty play­ers among the 334 en­tries across the ju­nior and se­nior events.

The lo­cal Se­nior Men’s team is re­garded as the best in years.

It con­tains former two time na­tional cham­pion and Com­mon­wealth Games rep Shane Lauge­son who leads the team with three other former NZ reps supporting him in Paul Innes, Calvin Kwong and Matt Hether­ing­ton, along with the Bay's emerg­ing tal­ent Max Hen­der­son.

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