Player Spotlight: Winners of the 2018 Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles
(By Johnathan Humbles)
2018 Butterfly Canadian Senior Championships – Day 3
Veteran May Tong (ON) is the winner of the 2018 Women’s Singles event. The previous day, she was crowned the Women’s Doubles Champion along with her partner, Barbara Chiu (BC).
Breathless with emotion after her 3-2 win against Patrina Hui (BC), Tong was awestruck with her own victory. “It’s unbelievable. I never thought I could make it.”
When asked how she felt entering the match, Tong says, “I wasn’t nervous because I’m so happy to get the chance to play with the kids and even get to the semifinals.”
In the men’s category, Jeremy Hazin (ON) succeeded in achieving his ultimate goal of snagging the men’s title by defeating Mohammed Faris Qatan (ON) 3-1.
“I feel absolutely great and really proud of myself. I knew winning the second time would be harder so I really didn’t feel like I was going to win today. But I fought really hard and that is ultimately why I won.”
On his finals opponent, fellow Ontario teammate Qatan, Hazin says he had actually entered the match with a losing record against Qatan. “We played [thrice] in the past; he won twice, I won once. But the last time [we played] is when I beat him, which was three months ago at the national team challenge event.” Hazin suggests his recent win gave him confidence going into the match. “But I really felt we were very evenly matched. It was 50/50. And he played amazingly.”
A recent high school graduate, Hazin now plans on trying out going full on for at least a year. “But I got to take it step by step,” he concedes. “We can say I’m officially free from school, so I’m very excited.”
When asked whether he has goals for the future, Hazin touches briefly on the importance of world ranking. “Since I won’t be in the [junior] category anymore, I really want to focus on improving my men’s ranking. I haven’t determined the exact number, but I know I need to do that. But anything is possible if I try my best. And also, I would like to participate in the 2019 Pan American Games.”
When asked whether the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is also a goal, Hazin gives a modest reply. “Like any sport, with table tennis, you have to take it day by day. To play, you need to have a lot of passion.”