(by Steve Hopkins)
The Cary Cup continues its long history of bringing together players not just from up and down the East Coast. The event began in Cary NC in 2001, but expanded in 2014 when it moved to the Triangle Table Tennis facility in neighboring Morrisville. This rendition of the event included over 100 players and featured 13 events.
The Thursday and Friday events included round robins by rating – serving local players as well as those who wanted to compete in the Triangle Club to acclimate with playing conditions before the weekend. On Thursday, there was an 1150 event, a 1500 event, a 1900 event, and an Open. And on Friday, there was an 1800 event, an Over 1800 event, and a Sandpaper event.
EARLY EVENTS: The headline on Thursday was Ojo Onaolapo defeating Rachid El Boubou to win the Thursday Open RR. Jintao Lee won the U1150 event, Frank Kraehe won the U1500 event, and Daniel Dreano won the U1900 event. On Friday, the Over 1800 Event was again won by Ojo Onaolapo. This time, he defeated Changbo Lu in the Final.
MAIN EVENT (Saturday/Sunday): The Giant Round Robin is the signature event of the Cary Cup. Players are arranged by rating and ultimately must win their way into a Division. And after being placed in a Division, only the top finishers move out of that second round robin and into the single elimination round. In the Preliminaries, there were no upsets among the top seeds.
Division A had a few surprises at Ojo ONaolapo fell to Jiangshan Guo and finished second. The top seed in Group 2, Yu Di fell to AJ Carney (the 3rd seed) and later defaulted his final matches. AJ Carney finished first in the group, and second seeded Aditya Godhwani finished second. In the crossovers, Ojo reached the Final from the lower bracket (topping Stephanie Sun and AJ Carney), and Aditya Godwani advanced in the top bracket by defeating Anav Gupta and Jiangshan Guo. Ojo Onaolapo won the Final 3-0, sweeping the tournament by winning his third event.