Aussies can star at Games, says coach
AUSTRALIA may have finished last in the Bennelong Cup in Sydney at the weekend, but coach Jens Lang was not disheartened by the result.
Lang says he saw enough good things during the four-nation tournament to feel confident that his charges will feature in the hunt for medals at next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Australia trailed well behind the traditional powerhouses in the sport, China, Japan and Korea.
Lang told APN, despite the final standings, it had been a positive hit-out for his squad.
"We proved that we're competitive, and we know the things we have to work on and improve on," he said.
"Every match, every event, every competition gets me, or gets the team, a bit closer to understanding what the best combination is, who the best players are and so on.
"It's still a long way to go until the Games and like I said, we've got a lot of work to do and we know what we need to do, so that's what we'll do.
"There's every chance Australia can once again be in the medals mix."
Australia will take a team of five men and five women to Glasgow, with the final line-up to be announced in February.
NSW youngster Chris Yan did his hopes of making the trip no harm at all after impressing Lang in his national debut in the Cup.
Yan bounced back from a 3-0 loss in his first singles match by winning his next two.
"You couldn't ask for a better start from someone who has his first match for Australia," Lang said.
"I also I saw plenty of good parts in Hemming Hu's game, so yeah, there's plenty to look forward to."
But it wasn't a good tournament for Australia's most successful table tennis player, 2006 Commonwealth Games silver medallist and four-time Olympian, Miao Miao.
She was beaten in her two singles matches, and was not at all happy about it.
"I felt really slow," she said.
"People say I'm the fastest player in Australia, but in this event I felt very, very slow, especially against these younger players."