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Blog — Table Tennis Tournaments/Results

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2012 Olympic and U.S. Team Trials – My Experience, Part 1 by Roger Dickson 0

When the entry form for the U.S. Olympic and National Team Trials came out, for once, I didn’t throw it in the trash. Usually the U.S. Team Trials event is part of the U.S. Nationals and working at the Newgy Robo-Pong booth keeps me so busy that performing at my best is difficult. But with the London Games this summer, the Trials would take on a life of its own in Cary, North Carolina on February 8-12! Having played at the Cary Cup quite a number of times, I knew it would be a great opportunity to get a little of the Olympic athlete experience in a great venue!

Joining me in the process was Liliana Kohann. She boldly stated that “If you go, I will too”. Once the entries were confirmed, the training schedule was created. Utilizing the Newgy Table Tennis Training Center for a combination of robot training with the Robo-Pong 2050 and personalized coaching, Liliana and I were training a minimum of two hours per day during the week and a Saturday session lasting four to six hours!

My core drills on the Robo-Pong 2050 consisted of drill #6 (two ping-pong® balls to the backhand followed by two to the forehand) done at the regular designed settings for two cycles of two minutes, then adding to both the speed and frequency for the next cycles. I focused on actively blocking for two cycles of two minutes, then with an active block on the first ball and a loop on the second. This drill is great at improving the recovery time between two strokes while still requiring movement.

My second core drill was a modification of drill # 52 or Falkenburg (two backhand ball locations, followed by a wide forehand ball). Using the Robo-Soft application, I moved the wide forehand closer to the center line. Having had a knee injury, I wanted to build the strength of movement first then gradually go back to the wide setting over the course of the near two months of training.

The third core drill was for serve return, it was a mix of drills #16 and 17. The focus was attacking the under spin, so I would alternate a flip or roll, then a fast, low and deep push.

I always ended my robot session with a random session either drill #26, 27 or 28 to increase my anticipation. My goal was to loop with more spin than speed every time – regardless of the position!

Roger Dickson

First Place at the U.S. Olympic Trials by Michael Landers 0

I’m happy to report that I earned my spot on the United States Olympic Team by finishing in first place out of a twelve-man round robin this past weekend! This qualifies me for the next and final stage of the Olympic Trials, which will be against Canada in April.

On top of that, I’ll be going to the World Team Championships in Dortmund, Germany. Even though I feel like I’m so close to achieving my goal of becoming an Olympian, I know that there is still a long way to go and I can’t look back now. My schedule for the next two months is pretty packed in order to prepare for the upcoming tournaments. In 11 days, I’m headed back to the TopSpin Club in California for a few weeks to prepare for the World Championships. Then, I’ll fly to Frankfurt and meet up with the rest of the Men’s team to have some pre-worlds training in Grenzau, Germany.

After finishing the World Championships, I’ll fly back to San Jose for another few weeks of training there. Finally, after a few weeks, I’ll fly back to New York and pack my bags for the final stage of the Olympic Trials in Cary, North Carolina. The next few months are going to be difficult, but I’m sure that I’ll get through them and perform my best at both tournaments.

Wish me luck!

Michael Landers

The Olympic Trials by Michael Landers 0

The Olympic Trials are just a couple days away. This is what I’ve been training for since I began playing table tennis and can honestly say that I don’t have any regrets up to this day about the lifestyle that I’ve chosen to live for the past few years.

While I was in California for a month training, I stuck to a strict schedule. All I did during the day was go to the gym, eat, play table tennis and sleep. Being away from my family and friends helped me focus on what I went there to do and that helped me enormously. I’m happy to say that I will be going in to the trials knowing that I’ve prepared as much as possible and will be at my best. I’m heading down to North Carolina today to warm up. I will begin playing the trials on Friday. Hopefully, I’ll make the team. But If I don’t, I am glad that I will be able to say that I gave it my best.

Wish me luck!

Michael Landers

2010 U.S. Nationals: A Youth Uprising in Vegas by Roger Dickson 0

With strong coaching programs on both coasts, the young players are gaining ground quickly on the seasoned players! The ICC program and Lily Yip’s Table Tennis Academy (LYTTA) are providing great resources for the young players to quickly gain advanced skills!

In the Men’s, Adam Hugh (LYTTA) took a huge step by defeating Fan Yi Yong – the number two seed and odds on favorite. Multi time Men’s winner David Zhuang was ousted by Barney Reed, National Team Member Han Xiao went out 4-3 to Timothy Wang and Ilija Lupulesku (Lupi) sent defending Champion Michael Landers home 4-0, but was well into the match with the last two games settling at deuce!

In the Semi Finals, it was teens vs. titans as Li faced Lupi and Wang squared up with Hazinski. Somehow both young guys came back from down 3-1 to win 4-3! I don’t know how long it has been since the Men’s finals featured two U.S. born teenagers!

Much to nineteen year old Timothy Wang’s credit, he was able to control the nerves just a little bit better and got the better of seventeen year old Peter Li in straight games to become the second teenager in a row to become U.S. Men’s National Champion!

The Women’s event looked to belong to former World ranked #2 Gao Jun, but due to flu like symptoms she withdrew at the Quarter Final stage. From that point forward the two young ICC stars Ariel Hsing and Lily Zhang were on a collision course to the Finals. Being travel partners to several ITTF Junior and Cadet events, Ariel and Lily know each other’s game quite well and it showed in the seven game battle final! When the dust settled, Ariel was left collecting her first U.S. Nationals Women’s crown!

What impressed me was not just the energy the young players showed, but also the strong technical skills and match pressure savvy against much older and trickier players. The growing strength of coaching programs through the U.S. is making our young players solid players for the future.

Roger Dickson

Jonathon Lian Foothills X Gold Dollar Upset Open Table Tennis Tournament by Bill Neely 0

On Saturday November 13, the Knoxville Table Tennis Club hosted one of their better tournaments of the year, the Jonathon Lien Foothills X Gold Dollar Upset Open. This tournament was named in honor of a special young man, Jonathon Lian, the grand upset winner in the previous tournament, the Foothills IX Gambler Gold Dollar Upset Open. There were 18-upsets during this tournament.

The Upper divisions were characterized by play befitting that of National events. There were 9-players rated above 2000, some of whom could have been under rated judging from their play. The matchup in the final Championship round could not have been predicted.

In the end, however, the top seed, Richard Doverman from Potomac, Maryland prevailed over third seed, John Mar from Atlanta, Georgia. This final began at what appeared to be a walkthrough for Doverman, but that was not to be. After being down 2-0, Mar came back with blistering loops and smashes to win the third game at 4. From that point on, the games see-sawed, back and forth, with Doverman winning at 5, Mar at 4, and finally, Doverman took the seventh and final game at 11-6. (See Photo, Richard left, John right.) For their efforts Doverman and Mar rode off into the night with $500.00 and $300.00, respectively.

Yuichi Yageyama, after hard-fought losses, to John Mar, 7,-6,-9, 10, and -4, and to Richard Doverman -9,-5, and -9, won third place by defeating Liedy Handoko at 7, -7, -7, 8, and 5. Yuichi won $200.00 for his efforts.

Other great matches saw John Mar narrowly defeating Yevgeny Puzyrev at -8, -9, 9, 10, and 6: John Mar defeating Petro Stirbu at 7, -9, -9, 7, and 6: Richard Doverman defeating Liedy Handoko at -8, 5, 7, -5, and 9: Di Di De Souza defeated Slawomir Waclawik at-3, -5, 8, 9, and 7; and Slawomir Waclawik defeated Liedy Handoko -9, 8, 8, -7, and 7.

The other results were:

Division A: Jude Lam (Knoxville) 1st, Guido Schnable 2nd, Kui Zhang 3rd, and Yoshiyuki Okawa 4th. First, second, and third place players were money winners.

Division B: Tatiana Peskova 1st, Albert Zhang 2nd, Carl Bradley 3rd, and Roger Dickson 4th. Again first, second, and third place players were money winners.

Division C: Perry Smith 1st, Art Xu 2nd, Anene Onyemelukwe 3rd, and Kirin Kasichayanula (Knoxville) 4th.

Division D: Kathy McMillin (Knoxville) 1st, Josh Cook 2nd, John Edd Walker 3rd, and Manuel Dy 4th.

Division E: Archie Jordan (Knoxville) 1st, Jonathon Lian 2nd, Tim Roundtree 3rd, and Daniel Decker 4th.

First, second, and third place winners for Divisions C, D, and E won beautiful plaques designed by Kathy McMillin.

The “Winner-Take-All” winning doubles team was Petro Stirbu and Nick Broussard, each winning $107 for their wins.

Our thanks to Newgy, Zero-Pong, Horizons Avionics, Crown Plaza, and Phyllis Wheatley YWCA for their continued support and their part in making this event possible.

Bill Neely

2010 Millcreek Table Tennis Open in Erie, PA Oct. 23-24 by Roger Dickson 0

Attending the Millcreek Table Tennis Open is always a fun time for me as I get to see a lot of my old friends from all the clubs in the PA, NY and OH areas that I used to compete with and share this great sport of table tennis! While Newgy Robo-Pong was not a sponsor of the event, I did have a ping-pong table and court set up in the lunch area to do some demonstrations of the features of the Newgy Robo-Pong 2050!

Two of the Elite Training Groups that meets on Monday evenings at the Newgy Table Tennis Training Center decided to make the drive with me and they had a great weekend as well! Swavik was seeded number one in the U-2000’s and won in the final against the number two seed from Canada! Swavik also upset a higher seed to advance out of group in the U-2200 event. But he didn’t stop there, he just kept up the offense until the semi-finals, where he had to face training partner Yev. These guys put on a great show as the commitment to training allowed them to attack and counter attack consistently during the match. Yev won the match but lost the war- he faded in the final as it was his 13th match of the day!

For the three of us, the Millcreek Open was our next to last warm up event before the biggest event of the year for us— the North American Teams in Baltimore, MD! At Millcreek, Swavik and Yev were able to meet and compete against their team mates: Keith & Seth Pech. Those four will be one of two Robo-Pong powered teams this year and there may be a third –an all female team!

For now it is back to the gym for Falkenburg and opening against underspin with the Newgy Robo-Pong 2050, serve and attack drills with Yev and Swavik to prepare for Baltimore. Hope to see you there!

Roger Dickson