By Allan Clarke
Rockhampton’s table tennis players enjoyed some impressive results at the annual Mackay Open Championships last weekend.
Some of the club’s leading players used the tournament as part of their preparations for the upcoming national championship carnival across all age groups that is being staged on the Sunshine Coast early in July.
At the top end of proceedings all local combatants in the open events performed well with Joel Coughlan and Matthew Pettett winning the men’s open doubles over club-mates and improving juniors Matthew Steffen and Nick Green. With the impressive roll-up of top players at this tournament having an all-Rocky final was quite an achievement.
These four also did well in the men’s open singles with Coughlan making the semi-finals and Pettett bowing out in a tough quarter final show down. Pettett and Kelsey Le Maistre lost in the final of the mixed open doubles to be the local club’s best performers in this category while Le Maistre won the women’s open doubles event.
Emily Steffen put another under-15 girls’ singles trophy in the cabinet when the state title holder in this age group for the past two years came up trumps against the best young girls from the northern part of the state.
Matthew Steffen won both the under-21 and under-19 boys’ singles and in the lower age group he outlasted club mate, and regular practice partner, Nick Green who also had a good tournament.
Steffen did well to reach the final of the second-grade singles before being ousted by Bundaberg’s Brett Fourro. This pair often engage in marathon encounters and this time Steffen narrowly failed to withstand his opponents strong attacking play.
Colte Nolan won the under-11 singles and made the semis of the under-13 while younger brother Cruz was victorious in the under-9 singles and reached the semi finals stage of under-11.
Colte also won the singles event in one of the lower grades and the brothers paired-off well to win the doubles.
Erica Nolan put in a gold medal performance in the over-40 women’s singles and Pam Clarke was runner-up in the over-60 women’s singles event to Townsville’s and north Queensland’s leading veteran Andrea McDonnell.
The Rockhampton Association continues to extend an invitation to social players to take part in Club Night on Mondays from 7.30pm at the Leichhardt Park Centre on Campbell Street.
Games are organised for attendees over approximately two hours and newcomers who just want to have a game of table tennis only need to have non-marking sports shoes as other equipment is available.
A learn to play for children is conducted from 4.30pm on Thursdays excluding school holidays and newcomers are always welcome.