2015 “Zeeknox Cup” Table Tennis Tournament a Great Success
Houston is warm and at its prettiest in October. After a whole day of fierce competition, 2015 “Zeeknox Cup” Table Tennis Single Tournament was concluded successfully. About 40 players participated in this event which was divided into Group A, B, and C. The renowned Chinese player Kewei Li beat current American Champion Jim Butler, again showcasing a great game between two great players. The third place went to newly arrived lady Shuang Wang, who defeated the fourth place “Hercules” Xiang Zhuang with her wise choice of tactics. The local seasoned player Feng Yu won the Championship for Group B.
The Tournament is sponsored jointly by Zeeknox Company and a table tennis enthusiast Nan Zhang. All participants were divided into three groups: A, B and C based on their competitive level and choice. Cash rewards were set up for the winners of Group A.
The event Champion Kewei Li is currently ranked No.1 in US Table Tennis Association, famous for his spinning chop with fierce forehand attack; with his attacking frequency and strength, he is more like an attacking player. The Runner-up Jim Butler is an American Champion twice playing for the U.S. in the Olympics, well-known for his forehand loop with backhand fast attack. A “python” when it comes to tangling, he is playing for the U.S. in the 2015 Sweden Table Tennis World Cup in a few days. The third top seed player Shuang Wang is a young sportswoman, new to Houston and has a style of very hidden and spinning serve, in addition to her attacking play of the combination of forehand and backhand loop. Xiang Zhuang, the fourth place taker, is an excellent player from China. His unpredictable serve baffles his opponents completely, who either ends up losing the ball or returning the ball high up. His trump weapon – the powerful forehand loop, is almost impossible to defend, hence he was nicknamed as “Hercules”.
Henry Chen, one of the most senior table tennis players of the Houston Table Tennis community, served as the director of the tournament, with Manny Valazquez as his assistant. Passionate volunteers like Yawei Li helped coordinate and maintain the order of the process. The game went smoothly thanks to their efforts. The game lasted from 8:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M., participants were energetic and sweaty, utilizing all their skills and showing the audience what they are capable of.
After fierce competition, the complete list of winners for each group is as follows:
- Group A – First: Kewei Li; Second: Jim Butler; Third: Shuang Wang; Fourth: Xiang Zhuang
- Group B – First: Feng Yu; Second: Amir Hormoz; Third: Augustine Bui
- Group C – First: Justin Bertschi; Second: Clayton Pavlicek; Third: Tony
The tournament is fascinating and exciting in many ways: a Chinese player, Shuang Yu, is a pen-hold grip genius, with one reverse glue side of his racket and the other side with special long pips. He changes sides from the service, often chopping with the long pip side and then attacking with the reverse smooth side, by beating the excellent Houston player Carlos in that manner. Although he lost to the runner-up Jim Butler, he put up a great fight and touched the crowd. The teenage players showed surprising potentials: the daughter of a renowned local player Victor had no fear playing against strong opponents and won the Best Improved Award. Another new player Oliver Wang unexpectedly defeated a player who has a USATT rating of 2000, creating much of a stir in the audience.
At the end of the game, Henry Chen, along with the representative of Zeeknox Corporation, and Manny, the tournament manager for logistics, Yawei Li, the coach of the club, and James Shu, the President of Texas Table Tennis Training Center, awarded the winners with cash and trophies, bringing a successful conclusion to the 2015 “Zeeknox Cup” Table Tennis Tournament. Those exciting games and the amazing skills of the players, though, will forever stay in the memory of the audience.