2017 HuaXia CaP Cup Table Tennis Singles Championship
Kewei Li Defeats Alfred Najem to Win the $800 Prize
But Future Stars Still Rising
The Sino Professionals Association (SPA), one of major Chinese organizations in Houston, Texas, successfully hosted the 2017 HuaXia “CaP Cup” of table tennis singles championship on December 9th 2017 at the Texas Table Tennis Training Center (“TTT”). This tournament was co-organized by Texas Chinese Radio Station AM1050 and TTT, with title sponsorship from the company of Capital Plastics (CaP). SPA held this event every year since 1992 and has made an outstanding influence on the table tennis world in the Greater Houston Area.
This annual tournament seeks innovation from the player spectrum and competition atmosphere. The overall completion reached another new level of height. A total of $2,000 cash prize was offered in the tournament, with the Champion prize of $800, $400, $200, and $200, respectively, for the top four winners. Cash prize and trophies were awarded to top three winners in all divisions, including Division A (champion), B (middle), C (challenger) and D (junior). A total of 55 players participated in the competition from Texas. The tourney featured some US top players, such as Kewei Li, Alfred Najem, and Michael Tran. Top two seeds are Kewei Li, ever the No. 1 player according to the USATT rating, and Alfred Najem, former Lebanese champion. Kewei Li was the champion at the 2014 Cary Cup and the finalist at 2013. Michael Tran is the 2017 US Junior Boys’ Team member. Player’s high rating, spin, speed, and strategy showed that this was a high-level tournament. Especially, the participation of champions brought an extraordinary competition atmosphere to games, as well as more fun and joys to table tennis fans.
There was spirited play through all rounds, with players competing across all the four divisions. Exciting early play took place among both veterans and newcomers alike, including such players as Roberto Dino Byles, Randy Hou, Frank Yu, and Shuang Yu. Heat turned up with great matches among Michael bothers, Alfred Najem, Randy Hou, Shuang Yu, and Kewei Li. The championship match was a classic battle between the defensive prowess of Kewei Li and the controlled attack of Alfred Najem, to which a packed house were treated to. In the end, it was Kewei Li who prevailed as the champion, with Lebanese champion Alfred Najem placing 2nd, Michael and Randy 3rd.
Top winners came out for each division:
- 1st place, Kewei Li
- 2nd place, Alfred Najem
- 3rd place, Michael Tran, Randy Hou
- 1st place, Shuang Yu
- 2nd place, Daniel Tran
- 3rd place, Frank Yu
- 1st place, Daniel Li
- 2nd place, Bangphog Yu
- 3rd place, Ghee Chee
- 1st place, Andrew Cao
- 2nd place, Austin Gao
- 3rd place, Jerry Zhang
It is worth mentioning that the three players from the Tran’s family, bothers Michael Tran and Daniel Tran playing the tournament smartly and giving other top players big challenge under their father Hoang Tran’s coach. The CaP Cup witnessed their rapid growth. The 15-year Michael won the 3rd place in Division A, and his 10-year brother Daniel won the 2nd place in Division B, while 3 years ago Daniel was only a player in the junior division. Michael bothers are blessed for US rising stars.
The games started at 8:30AM. While many players, the tournament went on very smoothly under the coordination of SPA TT director Dr. Yichuan Fang, SPA TT tournament managers Shiqing Zhao and Qiliang Jia, SPA NDF Secretary General Liming Yu, SPA VP Hua Huang, SPA former president Zimin He. The tournament ended at 4:00PM in a timely manner, because of enough tables available in the Texas TT training center.
Upon conclusion, Dr. Yichuan Fang, hosted an award ceremony. He made a short speech to acknowledge the company of Capital Plastics, GM Harmony Quan, and CEO Jeff Quan for their title sponsorship covering all the tournament prize. Since the sponsorship agreement signed in 2014, it is the 3rd CaP cup with their title sponsorship. Special thanks was also given to Texas Chinese Radio Station AM1050 for their sponsorship of trophies. Along with TTT chairman, James Shu, SPA presented cash prizes and trophies to the winners and then group photos were taken.
2017 HuaXia CaP Cup Winners：Champion Kewei Li (4th from Left 2nd Row); 2nd place, Alfred Najem (Center 2nd Row); 3rd place, Michael Tran (2nd from Right 2nd Row) and Randy Hou (3rd from Left 2nd Row); Tournament Organizers: SPA TT Director Yichuan Fang (3rd from Left 1st Row), tournament manager Shiqing Zhao (Center 1st Row) and Qiliang Jia (Left 1st Row); TTT Center President James Shu (2nd from Left 1st Row)
2017 HuaXia CaP Cup Division A Winners：Champion Kewei Li (4th from Left); 2nd place, Alfred Najem (4th from Right); 3rd place, Michael Tran (3rd from Right) and Randy Hou (3rd from Left)
2017 HuaXia CaP Cup Division B Winners：1st place, Shuang Yu (2th from Left); 2nd place, Daniel Tran (3th from Right); 3rd place, Frank Yu (3rd from Left)
2017 HuaXia CaP Cup Division C Winners：1st place, Daniel Li (3rd from Left); 2nd place, Bangphog Yu (3th from Right); 3rd place, Ghee Chee (2rd from Left)