Melissa Tapper's Olympic-Paralympic bid on course

Melissa Tapper, Australian table tennis player
Tapper is seeking to emulate Polish rival Natalya Partyka, who competed at both the London Olympics and the Paralympics

Paralympic table tennis player Melissa Tapper moved closer to becoming the first Australian to qualify for both Games after progressing from her country's Olympic qualifying event.

The 25-year-old was third in Australian trials so will play in the Oceania qualifier for Rio from 20-25 March.

If Australia achieve an Olympic place through the event, they can take three male and three female players to Rio.

Tapper was born with nerve damage to her right shoulder and arm.

She wears a brace on her right arm to help stabilise her serve .

Tapper missed out on a medal on her Paralympic debut in London, where she finished fourth, but she won a team bronze while competing against able-bodied players at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

"These matches are the best opportunity for me. We don't get a lot of chances to play so many good athletes in Australia, so I'm really happy to have come through," she said.

"If I'm lucky enough to get to go to the Olympics as well, it's another event I'll get to check off on and try and do my best."

Top Stories