NATIONALS BOUND: Bundaberg Table Tennis players Rebecca Tran, Kane Chantarat, Tahia Zia, Natasha Jefferson, Amelia Tu, Brayden Chapman, Vinuka De Silva and Kye Meuli will compete at the nationals next week. Absent are Leah and Tayla Scott.
NATIONALS BOUND: Bundaberg Table Tennis players Rebecca Tran, Kane Chantarat, Tahia Zia, Natasha Jefferson, Amelia Tu, Brayden Chapman, Vinuka De Silva and Kye Meuli will compete at the nationals next week. Absent are Leah and Tayla Scott. Mike Knott BUN020719TAB1

Why Bundy Table Tennis is up there with the best

TABLE TENNIS: It's not often that Bundaberg can claim to be one of the best places in Queensland for a particular sport.

But Bundaberg Table Tennis is an exception to that rule.

The association is about to send 10 juniors to the nationals next week in Wollongong, to represent Queensland and a Presidents side made up of players not selected to their original state team but good enough to be at the nationals.

Bundaberg will provide more than 20 per cent of players who represent the state, including all players in one age group.

Players Natasha Jefferson, Tayla Scott and Tahia Zia will represent Queensland in under-15 girls after doing well at the recent state titles.

The girls finished first, second and third with Scott winning ahead of Zia and Jefferson. Jefferson and Scott then combined to win the doubles.

"We know each other really well and know how to work together,” Zia said.

All three girls will compete in singles with Jefferson and Zia to combine for doubles.

"She is a lefty (left-handed) and I'm a righty (right-handed), so the aim is to make sure we give each other enough room,” Jefferson said.

"For us we make sure we are hitting our forehands as well.”

Jefferson said her goal for the event was to make sure she was attacking, so she knew she was playing at her best.

Zia said it would be amazing if they could medal.

Looking to join them with medals is under-18 player Rebecca Tran, who has already won gold medals at the event before in different age groups at previous campaigns.

She admits this year will be tough to replicate it.

"My goal is to at least get a bronze medal,” she said. "Or top 10 in the order of merit.

"I think I need to improve on everything, I don't have anything I'm perfect at yet.”

14-year-old Kye Meuli wins the award out of the Bundaberg team of hard chargers at the upcoming nationals. He will compete in under-15 and under-18 in multiple events.

"Anything I can get into, I'm doing,” he said. "I'm aiming to try to keep the ball in as best as I can and attack as the first attacker at the same time.”

Meuli is playing for Presidents in the two age groups and will be joined by Amelia Tu in under-15 girls.

She said competing last year inspired her to come back and give the nationals another run.

"I learnt mostly last year just about other states and how hard they work,” she said.

"That's been motivation for me to work hard. We've been doing a lot of top spinning. I'm not good at that so it has been good to improve.”

The juniors will be joined by fellow players Kane Chantarat (under-13), Vinuka De Silva (under-13), Braydon Chapman (under-15) and Leah Scott (under-18) who will represent Queensland.

The event starts on Sunday.



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