Melissa Tapper

Melissa Tapper

Table Tennis Schedule & Results

(Local) / 10:00 AM 12 Aug (Rio)
Women's Team Round 1

0 (Lost)

3 (Won)

Australia

Democratic People's Republic of Korea


Melissa Tapper


(Local) / 09:00 AM 6 Aug (Rio)
Women's Singles Preliminary Round

4 (Won)

2 (Lost)

Caroline Kumahara

Melissa Tapper


Melissa Tapper


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Athlete Biography

Melissa Tapper will make history in Rio becoming the first Australian to have competed at both the Paralympic and Olympic Games. Tapper represented Australia at the London 2012 Paralympics and will now feature at both the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Tapper was born with brachial plexus when her she got stuck during birth and the doctors pulled her out by her right arm which tore the nerves between her neck and her right shoulder.

She began playing table tennis when she was eight, made her first able-bodied junior Australian team at 14 and was the nation’s top ranked junior athlete at 18. She played her first Paralympic competition in 2009 and went on to finish fourth after going down in five sets in the class ten singles bronze medal match at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Tapper won a bronze medal as a part of the Australian women’s team at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Playing alongside Rio 2016 teammates Jian Fang Lay and Sally Zhang, along with Miao Miao and Vivian Dederko, Tapper and the Australian Team defeated India in the bronze medal match 3-1.

Tapper qualified for the Rio Games after a strong showing at both the Oceania Championships and the Oceania Qualification Tournament in Bendigo. The 26-year-old defeated four-time Australian Olympian Miao Miao and Sally Zhang to make the final of the Oceania Championships to ensure she secured one of two spots at the qualification tournament. Despite losing against Jian Fang Lay in the opener, she went on to defeat Fijian Grace Lee in her next match to make history and qualify for Rio.

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Olympic Information

  • Rio will be Olympic debut.

Recent Performances

  • 2nd - 2016 Oceania Olympic Qualification Tournament (Bendigo, Australia)
  • 2nd - 2016 Oceania Championships (Bendigo, Australia)
  • 53rd - 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Career Highlights

  • Bronze Medal 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games ( first Australian Paralympic athlete to quailify in able bodied games).
  • Fourth place 2012 London Paralympic Games.
  • Qualifying for both the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Education

  • Primary
    George Street Primary School (VIC, Australia)
  • Secondary
    Monivae College: 2002-2004 (VIC, Australia), Caulfield Grammar School: 2005-2007 (VIC, Australia)
  • Tertiary
    Bachelor of Exercise Science, Australian Catholic University (2008-2010)

Training

  • Coach
    Simon Gerada (2010-current)
  • Club
    Health Wellness & Table Tennis, Melbourne, Victoria
  • Institute/Academy
    Victorian Institute of Sport
  • Primary Training Base
    Melbourne, Australia

Q&A

Superstition/s
Try to have none
Favourite food
Caramel Fudge, Pavlova, chocolate
Favourite holiday destination
Maldives
Favourite music
Oldies
Dream car
Mercedes
Personal Motto
Only the strong survive
Star Sign
Pisces
I would spend my last $10 on
Fudge
Tattoos/Piercings
Tatto on left wrist of a star and on my right foot with 'jack & Ann' my grandparents
If I could try another Olympic sport it would be
Athletics
Most Inspiring Olympic Performance?
Cathy Freeman 2000 Olympics
First Olympic Memory?
2000 Olympics
Most Influential person in your career/life
Parents
Why this sport?
Why not this sport?