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Oceania 2012 Olympic Qualifying Table Tennis Tournament

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2012 Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament Results
Oceania 2012 Olympic Qualifying Table Tennis Tournament

Australia's William Henzell - #1 Male Qualifier

© 2007 Greg Letts, licensed to About.com, Inc.
After four days of intense and nerve wracking competition at the 2012 Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament held at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre from the 5th - 8th March 2012, the dust has finally settled and the results are in.

Congratulations to following players (listed in order of qualifying), who have all qualified to represent their countries in the 2012 London Olympics. Commiserations to the other athletes, many of whom would have also been worthy choices to represent their countries.

Men: William Henzell (Australia), Justin Han (Australia), Phillip Xiao (New Zealand).

Women: Jian Fang Lay (Australia), Li Chunli (New Zealand), Miao Miao (Australia).

It was interesting to note that Jian Fang Lay qualified the day before her 40th birthday, and Li Chunli qualified at the age of 50!

On a sadder note, it appears likely that the New Zealand Olympic Committee won't select either Phillip or Li to compete at the London Olympics, due to their policy of requiring table tennis athletes to have the potential to finish in the top 16 places. I guess the wise heads at the NZOC have never heard of an upset in sport before.

This policy resulted in some of New Zealand's best table tennis athletes not even bothering to come over and attempt to qualify - and who can blame them when the 2008 winner of the Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament wasn't allowed to compete in Beijing? (Strangely enough, this was Karen Li, Li Chunli's younger sister!) You can read more about this horrible policy and the effect on New Zealand's athletes at Sarah Her-Lee's table tennis blog.

Full match results can be found at the Oceania Table Tennis website.

Detailed reviews of each days play can be found on the ITTF website, and at Matt Hetherington's table tennis blog (Introduction, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4).

Pictured Athlete

William Henzell is Australia's #1 male table tennis player, and the #1 qualifier for Oceania. William spent many months at the Werner Schlager Academy in Europe preparing for the qualification tournament. Possessing a fierce work ethic and equally fierce backhand, William will be looking to improve on his 2008 Beijing Olympic result, where he pushed China's Wang Liqin all the way before just falling short.

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