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Australian paddlers eye medals in Delhi

other Updated: Sep 23, 2010 14:19 IST
PTI
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Boasting of Commonwealth Games silver medallists William Henzell and woman Stephanie Sang, an 11-member Australian table tennis squad is eyeing a medal haul when the quadrennial showpiece event takes place in Delhi from October 3-14.

Country's top paddler, 28-year-old Henzell had won silver in men's singles event in 2006 Melbourne Games and is now bent on adding a gold to his collection, even though he no longer plays professionally in Europe.

Besides 24-year-old Sang, Chinese-born duo of Jian Fang Lay and Miao Miao, who had clinched bronze in women's doubles in Manchester (2002) and Melbourne (2006), were also expected to go all out for a gold when they re-unite in the Indian capital.

"We're as good as the other top teams in the tournament. Everyone seems to be training hard and well, I am really pleased at this moment," Australia's head coach Brett Clarke was qouted as saying by Australian Associated Press (AAP).

Henzell also echoed his coach's view saying, "The gold ones look the nicest. They're shiny, so that would be definitely very high on the priority list."

Australia faces tough competition from countries such as Singapore, India, England and Canada.

"I think, we've got a good mix of experience and youth in the team. I've been there a couple of times before and I know what's expected, I know what to expect, so there's no real surprises from that point of view.

"I don't feel like a little kid at Christmas like I did possibly the other couple of times, so I just feel completely focused on getting the results that I'm after," Henzell said.

Henzell will be joined by Simon Gerada, who is playing for Australia at the Games for the first time after playing for Malta - his birth country - in 2006.

The men's side also includes CWG debutantes Robert Frank, Justin Han and Nam Ho Oh.

The women's squad also includes first-timers Vivian Tan and Peri Campbell-Innes.