David Powell and Heming Hu have qualified for this year's Rio Olympic Games. This occured at the Oceania Championships then at Oceania Olympic Qualification Event. Next part of the process is official selection which needs to be ratified by Australian Olympic Committee over coming weeks.
Following a complex, yet fair, system David qualified for Singles and Team Event while Heming qualified for Team Event. The other member of the Men's Team is Chris Yan (NSW) who qualified for Singles as well.
The Oceania Championships was a qualifying event for Australia's top 5 players from Australian Olympic Trials to see which two players would progress onto Oceania Olympic Qualifying Event. There were some extremely close matches that created even more tension that usual. This was evident with David matches as his last 3 matches all went the full distance where he beat Heming in SF of Oceania C'ships 11-6 iin 7th, then lost to Chris Yan in Final 12-10 in 7th then next day beat Chris 11-9 in 7th during Oceania Olympic Qualifying Event.
To see results from Oceania Championships Men's Singles click, 2016 Oceania C'ships Men's Singles - knockout stage
To see results from Oceania Olympic Qualification Event click, 2016 Oceania Olympic Qualification Event
To watch David play Chris Yan at Oceania Olympic Qual. go to 2hrs24mins on the link, 2016 Oceania Olympic Qual. Event
This is a fantastic effort by David and Heming after many years of hard work and making the necessary sacrificies along the way to achive such a feat. Both of them come through the younger ranks of Under 10's and Under 11's and been Australian Singles Champions many times for their Age Groups as you will read below. Four years ago David missed out by one spot after being in a strong position on 2nd last day of Oceania Qualifying so this time around he made amends.
The journey started on 18th Dec. 1999 at Croydon & District Table Tennis Assocaiton as an 8yr old where his first coaching session with Mark Smythe occured. Mark had coached his mum for the previous 6 months then she wanted her little David to have a lesson. The first ball David hit was over Mark's head. There was no thought of reaching Olympic Games at that stage but after years of coaching, training, competition and travelling overseas has earned his spot to represent Australia at the biggest sporting event on the planet.
Along the way David has been one of the best players of his generation through the Age Groups winning Australian U16 Boys Singles title once (2006), U18 Boy Singles once (2009) and U21 Men's Singles three times (2009, 2010, 2012).
To see his career highlights from 2005-2014 click, David Powell career highlights
David has written various articles about his journey over years. To read some click, David Powell articles 2011-2013
Started as a cheeky 7yr old at Dandenong Table Tennis Association in 2001, following in big brother's (Hua) footsteps who went on to become a Top 10 player in Aust. for Under 16 Age Group. Heming's first coach was Debbie Hawke then had stints with Brett Sonnet and Michael Belot before starting with Mark Smythe at 13yrs old in 2007 where he would stay with for the next 6 years and continue to use as a mentor as an adult. Hua was always around as hitting partner and fitness adviser through the whole journey when Heming wasn't overseas.
Heming was one of the best juniors in Australian TT history by winning Australian Under 13 Boys Singles once (2007), Under 15 Boys Singles 3 years in a row (2007, 08, 09) then won Under 18 Boys Singles once (2010) plus went on to win U21 Men's Singles twice (2015 & 2014) after being R-up twice in 2013 & 2012.
To see his career highlights from 2007-2014 click, Heming Hu career highlights
Heming has written a few articles about his journey over the years. To read some click, Heming articles 2011 & 2012
MSTT congratulates David and Heming on this acheivement and now join fellow MSTT player, Barak Mizrachi, who has qualified for the Paralympics.