THE Southland Table Tennis team of Phil Brocks, Nathan Geraghty and Damian Mitchell brought back gold from the New Zealand Open Table Tennis Teams’ Championships held in Christchurch recently.
Although it had been more than 30 years since Brocks last competed at the nationals as an 18-year-old, he was the standout player in the New Zealand Men’s D Grade Teams event winning all his singles matches.
The three players also won a gold medal and the New Zealand D Grade Men’s Teams title.
The deciding tie against a Canterbury team was locked at 3-all with Brocks playing the deciding match. He came from 9-5 down in the fifth game to win the next six points in a row to clinch the win for his Southland team, proving his passion for the sport had not diminished.
His commitment and determination under pressure, along with his maturity to analyse the game, was the driving force to bring the team to victory.
His ability to deceive the opposition with his unique style and incredible spin caught most of his opponents off-guard with many unable to return his shots.
Brocks won several Southland open and residential titles as a junior playing in age groups before taking a long break from the sport. He started playing competitively again during the past six years, constantly being on of Southland’s top senior players.
“It’s a good sport to play socially with your friends but also to compete at a high level at the various competitions,” Brocks said.
He planed to continue training during the summer months to compete in the 2020 New Zealand Masters Games being held in Dunedin in February and the New Zealand Veteran Championships in Christchurch at Easter.