|Sport Table Tennis|
Name Melissa Tapper
|Born 1 March 1990 (age 25) (1990-03-01)|
2014 auckland open women s singles final highlights li tianyi vs melissa tapper
Melissa Tapper (born 1 March 1990) is an Australian table tennis player. After competing at the 2012 Summer Paralympics, she represented Australia at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in elite non-Paralympic competition. In March 2016, she became the first Australian athlete to qualify for both the Summer Olympics and Summer Paralympics.
- 2014 auckland open women s singles final highlights li tianyi vs melissa tapper
- Ms melissa tapper commonwealth games table tennis bronze medalist
- Table tennis
Ms melissa tapper commonwealth games table tennis bronze medalist
Tapper was born on 1 March 1990 in Hamilton, Victoria, and resides in the Melbourne suburb of South Melbourne. She has a brachial plexus injury resulting in Erb's palsy. In 2004, she was attending Monivae College. That year, she won the South West Sports Assembly's junior female of the year award. In 2011, she was working on a bachelor's degree in exercise science.
Tapper is a class 10 table tennis player which means she competes while standing as opposed to competing while in a wheelchair. As of 2012, she has a scholarship with the Victorian Institute of Sport.
When Tapper started playing in 2002 while still in primary school, she competed against able-bodied athletes, and her first appearance on an Australian national team was at a competition in Jordan in 2004 in an able-bodied competition. In 2004, she participated in the National Table Tennis Championships in the under-14s doubles and mixed doubles, under-16s doubles and mixed doubles, under-14s singles, under-16s singles and under-18s singles, earning medals in seven of these events, with three total first-place finishes.
That year, Tapper also competed at an event in the Czech Republic, and another in Portugal, where she played in the World Junior Cadets under-15s. Her college helped fund part of her travel competition costs. She started to take the sport more seriously, with the idea of going to the Olympic Games and representing Australia. At the 2008 Under 18 Oceania Championship and the 2008 Under 21 Australian Championships, she came in first place. By 2008, she was the Australian U21 and the Oceania U18 champion, and won the Michael Szabados Award for the Australian Junior Player of the Year. She competed in the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, India, in October 2008.
Around 2010, Tapper decided to try playing Para-Table Tennis, making the switch from able bodied competition to disability sport. It was also around this time that during a remarkable game of table tennis at the Neal Stadium, competitor Kelvin Neal beat her 3 sets to 0. In early 2011, she was ranked 19th in the world.
In March, she spent time in Europe playing table tennis in Italy and Hungary, winning the Opens in both countries. She won two gold medals at the 2011 Arafura Games, and was selected to represent Australia at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in table tennis. She modelled the 2012 Australian Paralympic team uniform at Sydney's Overseas Passenger Terminal during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia Spring/Summer 2012/13.
Tapper was selected to represent Australia at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. She took part in the Mixed Doubles and Women's Team events. In the Group stage of the Women's Team event, Tapper beat her Guyanese opponent Trenace Lowe 3–0. The Australian team, including Tapper, ultimately won the bronze medal in this event. In the Mixed Doubles event, she and partner Heming Hu defeated the Kenyan mixed doubles team 3–0 to reach Round 3. In Round 3, Hu and Tapper were beaten 3–0 by the Canadian pair.
At the September 2014 ITTF World Para Table Tennis Championships in Beijing, China, she won a bronze medal in women's singles SF10. It was Australia's first ever medal at the Championships. On Friday 25 March 2016, Tapper made history by winning her way through the Oceanic Championship, thus making her the first athlete to ever selected to represent Australia in both the Paralympic and Olympic Games.
She is now on her way to the 2016 Olympics in Rio to represent Australia at the 2016 Summer Olympics and Australia at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in singles table tennis.
At the 2016 Rio Paralympics, Tapper won one match in the Women's Singles Class 10 preliminaries and did not advance. In the Women's Doubles Class 6-10, Tapper and her partner Andrea McDonnell finished fourth.
In October 2014, she won the Victorian Institute of Sport's Elite Athlete with a Disability Award.