FOCUSSED: Mackay’s Rebekah Stanley (centre) plays for Australia with Matilda Alexandersson against a Chinese pairing in the world cadet challenge at Tweed Heads.
FOCUSSED: Mackay’s Rebekah Stanley (centre) plays for Australia with Matilda Alexandersson against a Chinese pairing in the world cadet challenge at Tweed Heads. Contributedjared Stanley

Rebekah impresses at cadet challenge

TABLE TENNIS: Mackay's Rebekah Stanley has a quest for yet more speed after coming up against some of the fastest and best players in the world.

The 15-year-old won two silver medals and a bronze medal at the world cadet challenge at the Seagulls Club at Tweed Heads, but admitted she was mesmerised by the speed and ability of the Chinese girls.

"Playing against the Chinese was very difficult, there is a very big difference between the competition in China and here," she said.

"The standard in China is a lot better than anywhere else in the world. I did okay in the first two teams matches against Fiji and Australia B, but in the final against China they were awesome."

Stanley won silver medals playing for Australia in the teams event and in U15 (cadet) doubles, in which she played with Matilda Alexandersson of Cabarita Beach, and a bronze medal for the U18 girls singles.

She played up an age group in the U18 singles and beat a Korean girl to advance to the playoffs, eventually losing to a Chinese player.

"I was happy about that (the bronze medal)," she said. "I was the only non-Chinese girl on the podium. But these (Chinese) girls were not the best they have, I can't even think how good they are over there."

Stanley has been offered the opportunity of training in Melbourne, which she is keen to take up after honing her skills in four trips to South Korea during the summer holidays.

Her ability has been noticed by one of the world's largest table tennis manufacturers Butterfly, which is sponsoring her with equipment and clothing.

Her next international event will be the Oceania Cadets and Oceania Cup events at the Pacific Ocean island of Kiribati at the end of May.


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