$5000 Maryland State Table Tennis Championships
By Larry Hodges, Tournament Director
The two biggest winners at the tournament were Zeng “Jeffrey” Xun (29, rated 2549) and Tiffany Ke (11, rated 2260). Jeffrey, a full-time coach at MDTTC with a steady two-winged looping attack and blocking, dominated in Men’s Singles, defeating fellow MDTTC coaches Lyu You (17) 4-1 in the semifinals, and chopper/looper Wang Qing “Leon” Liang (20) in 4-0 in the final. Wang defeated lefty penhold looper/blocker Richard Lee in the other semifinals, 4-0. The three coaches are all former stars from China who emigrated to the U.S. to coach, and share a house in Germantown.
Zeng also teamed with student Derek Nie (15, rated 2427) to win Open Doubles over Wang and Lyu. Derek is the #2 player on the USA National Cadet Boys’ Team (15 and under). Nie also won Under 18 Boys over Roy Ke (17, rated 2437), who had just returned from a year of training in China.
Tiffany likely became the youngest Maryland Women’s Singles Champion ever at age 11. It was probably the youngest final ever, as her opponent in the final was 12-year-old Lisa Lin. It was also one of the closest matches as well, with the score reaching 8-8 in the fifth, with Tiffany scoring the last three points in a row. Both are members of the four-member USA Under 12 Girls Hopes Team. Tiffany is currently #2 in USA Under 12 Girls.
Tiffany also won Under 18 Girls’ Singles over Lisa, and Under 15 Girls over Jessica Lin (no relation to Lisa), with Lisa finishing third in that event. Lisa actually defeated Tiffany in Under 15 Girls, but lost to Jessica, who lost to Tiffany – and the three-way tie was decided by games won and lost among the three, with Tiffany coming out on top. (Jessica finished third in both Women’s Singles and Under 18 Girls.) The three girls train together full-time at MDTTC.
Ryan Lee, 9, the son of men’s semifinalist Richard Lee, won Under 10 over Adrian Yang, 9. Yang was also in the final of Under 12 Boys, where he lost to Alexander Yang (no relation), 11. George Li, 13, won Under 15 Boys over William Huang, 13.
Lixin Lang, 56, won Over 50 Men over Thomas Sampson, 58; Michael Clarke, 69, won Over 60 over Mark Radom, 67; and Gordon Gregg, 74, won Over 70 over Su Liu, 81.
Under 2400 was won by Stefano Ratti over Raghu Nadmichettu; Under 2100 by Ernest Byles over Ronald Chen (age 12); Under 1800 and Under 1500 were swept by Ranjan Bhambroo, over Ara Sahakian and John Miller; Under 1200 by Lance Wei (9) over Giovanni Ratti (12); and Under 1000 by Andy Wu (8) over Lance Wei (9).
Under 4000 Doubles was won by the experienced senior team of Jeff Smart and Steve Hochman over juniors Darwin Ma (16) and George Li (13); Under 2400 Doubles was won by Stanley Hsu (7) and Hanfei Hu (10) over Kurtus Hsu (10) and Lance Wei (9).
Tournament sponsors include the Maryland Table Tennis Center; HW Global Foundation (sponsor of the MDTTC Junior Talent Program); and the Courtyard by Marriott Gaithersburg Washingtonian Center (official tournament hotel).
PHOTOS by Wen Hsu
Men’s Singles: Lyu You (3rd), Wang Qing “Leon” Liang (2nd), Zeng “Jeffrey” Xun (1st) & referee Paul Kovac
Women’s Singles: Tiffany Ke (1st), Lisa Lin (2nd), Jessica Lin (3rd)
A Doubles: George Li/Darwin Ma (2nd), Steve Hochman/Jeff Smart (1st)
Over 70: Su Liu (2nd), Gordon Gregg (1st)
Under 18 Boys: George Li (3rd), Roy Ke (2nd), Derek Nie (1st)
Under 12: Alexander Yang (1st), Adrian Yang (2nd), Ryan Lee (3rd)
Under 10: : Ryan Lee (1st), Adrian Yang (2nd), Mu Du (3rd)