Li Chunli's streak halted at Oceania Champs

posted Mar 6, 2012, 10:05 PM by Gina Connell

Li Chunli's unbeaten run at the Oceania Olympic table tennis qualifying tournament ended in her final match in round robin play when the evergreen 50-year-old was defeated by Australia's Jian Fang Lay.

The New Zealander, who competed at four Olympics before retiring after Athens 2004, lost 4-2 to Lay, who gained the first of three qualifying spots on offer at Sydney Olympic Park yesterday.

Li, who is using the tournament as preparation for her sport's world veterans' games at Auckland in 2014, continues playing in the sudden death second stage today.

She has a first round bye and then plays the winners of the clash between Miao Miao (Australia) and Vanuatu's Anolyn Lulu.

Li, who has not had a world ranking since August 2005, beat both potential opponents in group play on Monday and started yesterday's schedule with a closely fought 4-3 victory over another Australian, Vivian Tan.

In the men's draw William Henzell secured the first spot while New Zealand's Phillip Xiao and Yi-Sien Lin are still capable of joining the Australian when the elimination phase continues.