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NYU Brings Home A National Championship and Continues Its Legacy of Table Tennis Prowess

This past April, the NYU Table Tennis Team returned to NYC from a three-day visit to Round Rock Texas as National Champions, having dominated the competition at the National Collegiate Table Tennis Championship tournament. Guided by their coach, Yanjun Gao, himself a former National Collegiate Table Tennis Association (NCTTA) national champion, the sixteen member co-ed team secured wins against U.C. Davis, SUNY Binghamton, U.T. Dallas, U.T. Austin, U.C. Berkeley, Mississippi, and Texas Wesleyan. In the Women’s competition the 8th seeded Violets took home an unexpected third place finish. NYU was also named “The Most Improved Team of the Tournament”, NYU’s second year coach, Yanjun Gao was, crowned “Coach of the Year”, and U.S. Olympian and NYU student Yijun (Tom) Feng won the “Male Athlete of the Year” honors. In the just completed USA Table Tennis Nationals held in Las Vegas, Nevada, Coach Gao brought home second place honors in the Men's Doubles playing with his Doubles partner and NYU student team member Tom Feng. NYU student and Table Tennis Team member Michael Song earned third place honors in Doubles competition.

Earlier this year, the NYU Women’s Table Tennis Team won first place honors in the Northeast Division of the NCTTA while Adar Alguetti won the Men’s singles championship.

File Photos. New York Sports Photo Group

The members of this year’s NYU Table Tennis Team, Adar Alguetti, Mudit Dani, Tom Feng, Kuan-Jen Ho, Liying Li, Luyi Li, Robert Li, Ruishan Lin, Wenhao She, Joanna Song, Michael Song, Haoran Su, Xiaotong Sun, Chiaoyl Yang, and Kezhi Zuo are just the latest in a long line of NYU’s Table Tennis luminaries. NYU’s Table Tennis prowess made one of its earliest appearances at the 1932 ‘National Ping Pong Championships’ held in the Grand Ballroom of New York’s Waldorf=Astoria hotel. The final match of the 1932 American Ping Pong Association (APPA) championship event sponsored by the Parker Brothers game company pitted NYU student Abe Krakauer against Coleman Clark, with Krakauer taking second place honors. Krakauer had previously captured first place at the APPA Eastern Regionals. The next year at the APPA Nationals held in Chicago, the twenty-year old NYU sophomore pre-law student, Jimmy Jacobsen, won the Men’s singles national championship firmly establishing NYU’s place on the national Table Tennis stage.

File Photos. New York Sports Photo Group

This year’s team trophy in Texas was not NYU’s first national championship in intercollegiate sports. In the days prior to the NCTTA, NCAA and NIT tournaments, the NYU Violets captured the 1920 Amateur Athletic Union national championship in Basketball and twenty men’s NCAA Division I national championships in Fencing and six in Men’s Indoor Track. The women’s Fencing team owns ten national championship titles from the National Intercollegiate Women’s Fencing Association (NIWFA). At the NCAA Division III level, NYU has claimed three national championship titles, one in Women’s Basketball (1997) the second in Men’s Cross Country (2007) and, most recently, the individual title in Men’s Wrestling (2017).

### Proud NYU Alum. M.S. 1979, Ph.D. 1982 Graduate School of Arts & Science

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