Published Wednesday 11 June 2014

The New Zealand Table Tennis Team for Glasgow 2014 was announced last week, Phillip Xiao and John Cordue talk to us about what it means to be selected to represent New Zealand.

1. How does wearing the Silver Fern give you strength?

Phillip: Every time I wear the New Zealand uniform I am very proud. It represents my friends and family supporting me back at home and it makes me really want to do well for them, do them proud.

John: Growing up I watched a lot of New Zealand Sport teams on TV and saw the power of the Silver Fern, particularly for our rugby team and our cricket team. Just knowing that we are wearing the Silver Fern for Table Tennis is just awesome, knowing that we have all the support of the New Zealand public. 

2. What does representing New Zealand mean for you?

Phillip: It represents 12-13 years of hard work, being able to travel a lot and play in a lot of tournaments. The Commonwealth Games is definitely one of the biggest events for me. It will definitely be a big highlight in my Table Tennis career.

John: It represents a lot of effort I have put in throughout the years, with lots of support from my family. It’s amazing to be able to represent all the Table Tennis players in New Zealand

3. What are 3 attributes that every Table Tennis player needs?

Phillip: Quick reflexes, Mental Toughness and Fitness

John: Mental Toughness, Game strategy and Physical Reflexes

4. How did you get into the sport?

Phillip: I initially started playing Table Tennis when my dad got me into the sport. I was playing a lot of cricket when I was a kid and my dad thought maybe Table Tennis would be a better option. I came down to the Auckland Table Tennis Stadium one day and played junior clubs. I started playing in a few tournaments and getting some good results, so I guess that's when it all started.

John: My dad used to play Table Tennis and I watched him a lot. I also used to play a lot of Tennis when I was younger so I represented Wellington in both sports. I decided my strengths lied in Table Tennis so I continued that on.