North American Olympic Qualifier Participants
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Jiaqi Zheng – Photo courtesy of ITTF

North American Olympic Qualifier Participants Compete at 2016 Butterfly Cary Cup

North American Olympic Qualifier Participants Compete at 2016 Butterfly Cary Cup
by Barbara Wei

For three US team members who have qualified to compete in the North American Olympic Qualifier event in Markham, Ontario next weekend, the Road to Rio leads through North Carolina. In preparation for the final Olympic qualifying event, 2012 Olympian Timothy Wang, 2015 Men’s National Champion Yijun Feng, and 2015 Women’s National Champion Jiaqi Zheng are all on duty in Morrisville, NC competing at the 2016 Butterfly Cary Cup. The Giant Round Robin format of the 4-star Cary Cup competition allows these top players to play at least 7-8 matches with others of a similar level, providing ample opportunity to hone and improve their mental and physical skills throughout the course of the competition.

Challenging these revered US national level players are some of the top US grown juniors and Chinese player-coaches. Yijun Feng will look to advance out of Division A, Group 1, where he will be challenged by Bowen Chen (2558 – MDTTC), Allen Wang (2553 – LYTTC) and Canadian Olympic Qualifier Reserve player Jeremey Hazin (2461). The highest ranked female player in the tournament, Jiaqi Zheng will look to advance out of Division A, Group 3. She will be competing with a group of Chinese player-coaches including Kaden Xu (2670 – LYTTC), Yuxiang Jin (2529) and Di Yu (2473 – TTT). Lastly, Timothy Wang will look to demonstrate his skills in Division A, Group 4, where he will contend with Zirui Zhao (2649), Ziyang Chen (2526) an Rajat Hubli (2512). The top 4 players from each Division A group will move onto the single elimination rounds on Sunday morning.

Regardless of the results of their matches at the 2016 Butterfly Cary Cup, Yijun, Jiaqi and Timothy will take the experiences they have gained from this weekend and use them to prepare for next weekend’s high profile Olympic Qualifier Event.

Continual coverage of the 2016 Butterfly Cary Cup and stories about the athletes will be available at ButterflyOnline.com, or via Butterfly North America’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

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