Table tennis: Xu brothers making their mark

Brothers Logan (left) and Nathan Xu train at the Lion Foundation Arena in Dunedin yesterday....
Brothers Logan (left) and Nathan Xu train at the Lion Foundation Arena in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Linda Robertson.
They are typically shy youngsters, but when it comes to table tennis they are anything but typical.

Dunedin brothers Logan (13) and Nathan (8) Xu are making a name for themselves on the Otago table tennis scene.

Both boys are going to play in the North Harbour junior open later this month and the following day hope to be spotted by talent scouts, when they play in an International Table Tennis Federation talent scouting tournament.

Otago Table Tennis Association head coach and former national representative Ben Duffy said Logan, who began playing four years ago, had been "training really hard for a while now and has committed to table tennis".

He said due to the effort he has been putting in, Logan was now showing "a lot of promise".

Duffy, who plays for Otago, said Nathan had been "training for three years, and has got a real attitude about going places.

"He is really determined ... [and ] has had the advantage of trying to keep up with his older brother and I think he will be a national champ before not too long, with the right sort of support around him."

Duffy said both boys were competitive, disciplined and driven to do well.

If the talent scouts liked how the boys played, they could then they could be put on programmes and into training camps, Duffy said.

He said although Nathan was still too young to go into the cadet programme, there were other programmes for younger players.

Logan, a year 9 pupil at John McGlashan College, said he would like to go as far as he can in the sport, and credited Duffy and Wang Qi with helping to develop his game.

Nathan, a year 4 pupil at Maori Hill School, said one day he would like to beat his older brother, but was more focused on doing well in the sport.

Duffy said the boys' parents were "very supportive of what they are doing".

Coaching was shared between Duffy and Qi.

"It is our job to guide them and help them as much as we can."

Both boys are members of Otago age-group teams.

Upcoming events for Otago table tennis include the interclub competition, which starts on April 30, and the Otago Open on June 23.


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