Jian Fang Lay claims bronze

Jian Fang Lay ((Con Chronis - Commonwealth Games Australia)

Tara Murray

Bundoora’s Jian Fang Lay is showing age is no barrier tt her sixth Commonwealth Games.

Lay helped the women’s table tennis team claim bronze early in the games and will finish the Games in the gold medal match in the women’s doubles on the final night of competition.

The 49-year-old was on fire as the Australians beat Wales, 3-0 in the bronze medal match in the teams event.

Fang Lay and Min Hyung Jee kept composed during their doubles match to kick off the bronze medal match with a 3-0 set win, 11-5, 11-5, 11-8.

Debutant Yangzi Liu then made it a 2-0 lead for the Australians winning her match 3-0.

Fang Lay was in action in the third game of the bronze medal match with the chance to claim the bronze medal for her country.

She put in a masterclass against Wales’s Charlotte Carey to get a 3-0 set victory, winning 11-7, 12-10, 11-4.

It was the eighth Commonwealth Games medal of Fang Lay’s career, having won four silvers and three bronzes.

National head coach (able-bodied) John Murphy was delighted with the team’s performance.

“I think the women have put in a huge effort over a number of years to come here in the shape that they did and to be able to perform the way they did,” he said.

“To win the bronze medal match as convincingly as we did and to win every match with a clear advantage, I am very proud of what they did.”

It was the start of a big week of competition for Fang Lay, also competing in the women’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.

Lay and Min Hyung Jee won through to the gold medal match in the doubles, with a 3-0 (11-9, 11-9, 11-3) victory over Singapore’s Xin Ru Wong and Jingyi Zho in the semi final.

It means Lay is guaranteed a medal no matter the result.

Murphy was thrilled for the pair.

“Jian and Min played sensationally tonight to win 3-0 in the semi-final and guarantee another medal for Australia,” he said.

“Their tactics were spot on and their execution was just as good. They have a great chemistry together and are both looking forward to playing in the final.”

In between those two events, Lay made it through to the quarter finals of the singles, losing to Singapore’s Tianwei Feng, 4-0. She was knocked out in the opening round of the mixed doubles.

It’s the eighth Commonwealth Games medal of Fang Lay’s career. She now has four silvers and four bronzes.