Bundoora’s Jian Fang Lay will head to a sixth Commonwealth Games after being named in Australia’s table tennis team.
The 49-year-old mother of two, who has won seven Commonwealth games medals, is one of six players to be named for the eight person team so far.
Lay made her debut for Australia at the Manchester games 20 years ago and has won four silver and three bronze medals across the six games and has also competed in six Olympic Games.
Lay is hoping to claim Australia’s first gold medal in table tennis.
“It is exciting to attend my sixth Commonwealth Games, I always love representing Australia on the world stage,” Lay said.
“It is a great group who will be competing with me and I know we will all be working hard between now and the Games to do our best in Birmingham.
Lay brings experience to the team, with the other five players named heading to their Games.
Yangzi Liu, 19, who was raised in China before moving to Australia with her family in 2019, represents the future of table tennis for our nation.
Brisbane-based Min Hyung Jee has won the last two Australian Championships and has significant experience on the international circuit.
Korean-born Jee moved to Australia with her husband to study English during a working holiday and fell in love with her adopted country.
Nicholas Lum and Finn Luu will make their Commonwealth Games debuts, while Dillon Chambers is the third member of the men’s squad.
Australian Commonwealth Games Chef de Mission Petria Thomas said the table tennis squad was another representative team blessed with a fine blend of experience and youth.
“This is a special day for the team members, especially for five of the six team members who are going to be making their Commonwealth Games debuts in Birmingham, and for Jian Fang Lay who has been selected for her sixth Commonwealth Games.
“This is a tremendous achievement by Jian, who becomes just the sixth Australian athlete from any sport to achieve this feat.
“Making six Commonwealth Games requires hard work, determination and a love for your sport, all qualities that Jian possesses. I know she will be inspiring not only her Table Tennis teammates but all of the Australian team in Birmingham with the passion she shows for representing the green and gold.”
Table Tennis Australia chief executive Scott Houston made special mention of Lay.
“Jian becomes just the sixth Australian athlete from any sport to achieve this incredible milestone. Her selection is a testament to her longevity and her skill. Jian is a living legend of Australian sport.”