TABLE TENNIS: Dave Delpratt, who has been selected as a deputy referee for the upcoming Rio Olympics.
TABLE TENNIS: Dave Delpratt, who has been selected as a deputy referee for the upcoming Rio Olympics. Mike Knott BUN270116TABLE1

Dave Delpratt is honoured to play vital role in Rio

OLYMPICS: He may not bag a swag of medals, but Dave Delpratt will shoulder a lot of responsibility at the Rio Olympics.

He joins two other Australians on the umpire and referee team to oversee the table tennis tournament at the Games.

Delpratt, 64, flew out on Tuesday to the Brazilian city and said attending an Olympics was a special moment he would not forget.

"I'm nervous and excited because the Olympics are the biggest and most important event for athletes and tournament officials, so we have to get everything right,” he said.

"It is a huge honour to be selected as a deputy referee for such an important event.”

Delpratt, a development officer at the Bundaberg and District Table Tennis Club, said being a referee at Olympic level required a certain set of skills.

"You need good organisational skills, obviously a strong knowledge, understanding and interpretation of the rules, regulations and procedures of the sport; and an ability to stay calm under pressure,” he said.

"The ability to survive on not too many hours sleep for 12 days of competition helps too.”

With the different personalties, language barriers and heightened tension involved, Delpratt said communication skills were vital.

This won't be Delpratt's first Olympics. He umpired table tennis at the Athens Games back in 2004.

In recent years, Delpratt has been a deputy referee at the World Championships in 2013 and at the Commonwealth Games in 2014, making him more than qualified.

"I will hopefully have the opportunity to do a little sightseeing and check out some of the other sports,” Delpratt said.



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