10 Apr 2015

Sport: Oceania Cup table tennis champs get underway

12:07 pm on 10 April 2015

The Oceania Cup Table Tennis Championship gets underway in Bendigo, Australia today.

New Zealand table tennis player Li Chunli.

New Zealand table tennis player Li Chunli. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

16 men and 14 women from the Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, PNG, Samoa, Vanuatu and French Polynesia will take on the best from Australia and New Zealand, with the overall winners qualifying for the World Champs in China at the end of the month.

New Zealand's Li Chunli is a four time Oceania singles champion.

The 2002 Commonwealth Games gold medallist finished runner-up last year, behind Australia's Jian Fang Lay, and is keen to go one better.

"After I come back after coaching I won the title in 2012 then I lost in 2013 and lost in last year so this year it's very challenging for me. I hope I can become a champion again".

The Pacific Cup, excluding New Zealand and Australia, will also run alongside the main tournament over the next three days.

Vanuatu's Yoshua Shing is back to defend the men's title but Cathy Gauthie from New Caledonia is absent.

This is also the first time the Oceania Cup and Oceania Para Championships have been integrated together at the same event.