Spiking among the best

TEAM Fiji tennis player Philip Wing is one of the athletes with disabilities competing in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

Seven sports are contested by a record 300 para-athletes, which is a 45 per cent increase from the number of participants in the 2014 Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

In a span of three years, since taking up table tennis as part of Fiji Table Tennis Association’s inclusive program, the Suva-based player is fast learning to spin among the best in the sport at Oxenford Studios, the games’ venue for table tennis.

“It has been a great learning experience for me and I am very happy to be here,” he said through his sign language interpreter and coach Anthony Ho.

Yesterday, he partnered with Sally Yee in the mixed double against Ghana pair Sam Bernard and Celia Baah-Danso. Fiji lost 6-22, 3-11, 11-13. On Tuesday night, he lost 1-4 to Zambia’s Kennedy Katugu.

“Philip (Wing) is the only disabled athlete in this games from Fiji. I am so proud of him considering the progress that he has made in the two years,” Ho said.

“He is a very powerful player, but I think because of the environment and the amount of people here, Philip has not been playing to his full potential.

“He was nervous and tense during his two games.

“His spikes were strong like he used to do at home where no one could reply.

“But here when he spiked they were countered, so he has to change his style of play.

“He should be a very good player in the near future,” he said.

Meanwhile, results so far yesterday saw Xuan Li lost 1-4 to Guyana’s Trenace Lowe in the women’s group 8 singles, Wing lost 0-4 to Noth Ireland’s Paul McCreery in the men’s singles Grp 9, Vicky Wu, 13, lost 2-4 to Tanxania’s Amoni Tumaini, 23. Li lost 0-4 to Mauritius’ Karen Lyne in the women’s singles.

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