The 27th Australian Veterans Table Tennis Championships were held recently (16-23 October 2010) at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, Melbourne.

This venue was situated in a south Melbourne suburb next to a lake in Albert Park, where the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix is held every year.

Over 300 participants from around Australia and New Zealand took part, covering ages 40 to over 80. New Zealand had its biggest team ever with 30 players making the trip over the Tasman.

Four players from Table Tennis Wellington took part in the championships. The Over 50 Mens A team consisted of Depak Patel (captain) and Ian Talbot (both Empire) and Bryan McConnochie from Titan/Kapiti. Raewyn Young (Empire) was the captain of the Over 40 Womens team. The other team members were Joanna Ma (Otago) and Akiko Goto (Canterbury).

Over 40 Womens Teams results:

vs Victoria B won 11-0
vs Queensland B won 10-1
vs Northern Territory won 10-1
vs Western Australia won 10-1
vs Queensland won 6-5
vs New South Wales B won 10-1
vs Presidents won 8-3
vs New South Wales won 6-5
vs Victoria won 6-5

In the final against Victoria, Akiko played the final match against Vicki Carruthers (a very experienced player), who had already lost to Raewyn and Joanna. Akiko was not expected to win but showed great determination to fight back from 2 sets down to win 11-13, 4-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-8. The NZ team erupted with delight when the last point was won – a truly memorable experience. This team was the first from NZ to win a gold medal in a team event since this tournament commenced 27 years ago.

Raewyn won 70% of her matches and was placed 9th and Joanna was placed 2nd on the Merit List.

Over 50 Mens Teams results:

vs Queensland B won 8-3
vs ACT B won 10-1
vs Northern Territory won 6-5   Bryan won the last match 3-0
vs Victoria lost 2-9
vs New South Wales lost 0-11  Was a tough day at the office! Bryan got a set of Paul Pinkevic
vs Tasmania won 7-4
vs New South Wales B won 11-0
vs Queensland lost 3-8  Ian defaulted 2 matches due to injury

Depak won 58% of his matches with Bryan winning 50% and Ian 46%. The team finished a creditable 6th out of 14 teams.

(click for the TTNZ article with all the names)