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New York and New Jersey Table Tennis Players Representing the USA on the ITTF World Team Liebherr Ch

It’s been a great year so far for New York Metro area Table Tennis competitors. As reported earlier in MetroSports Magazine, the sixteen member co-ed team from N.Y.U won the National Championship title of the NCTTA securing 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 N.Y.U. 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 Tom Feng won the “Male Athlete of the Year” honors. This followed on the heels of the N.Y.U. Women’s Table Tennis Team winning first place honors in the NCTTA’s Northeast Division where freshman Adar Alguetti won the Men’s singles championship. In February, four New York Metro area players competed in the ITTF World Cup held in London.

More recently, the sixty-third edition of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Liebherr Team Table Tennis Championships took place in Halmstad, Sweden from 4/29/18 through 5/6/18. Teams competing in the event were split into three divisions for both men and women. The top division, called the Championship Division, was made up of the 24 best teams, which were put into four groups of six for the first stage of the event and conducted as Round Robin competitions. The winners of these divisions were crowned as World Champions.

Above: Photo Courtesy Leon Libin

The USA Women’s team qualified for the Championship Division and was seeded into a group with teams from Japan, Austria, Hungary, Ukraine and Egypt. Team USA was comprised of players Amy Wang from New Jersey, Xinxue Wang from New York, Yue Wu from New Jersey, and Lily Zhang from California. Coaching the US Women’s National Team on was Jun Gao. Coach Gao commented that “the team came to this World Event to show our best”. Lily Zhang, Yue Wu and Amy Wang had all played for the US Team on the ITTF World Cup in London. Xinxue Wang, new to the US National Team recently gave the birth to a child and won a match against Thailand’s Nathan Komwong. The US Team beat Team Czech Republic, 3:2, and then Team Thailand, 3:2. The US Women’s Team then beat Poland, 3:2, taking 13th place in the 2018 ITTF World Team Liebherr Championships and securing a spot for the US Women’s Team in the next ITTF World Team Liebherr Championships.CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Above and Below: Photos Courtesy Leon Libin

The USA Men’s Team, ranked number 38 in the world, competed in the division against the national teams from Spain, Iran, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, and Puerto Rico. Team USA on the Men’s side was slightly different in composition from teams fielded for the ITTF Team World Cup events held recently in London and Germany. The US Men’s Team was comprised of Yijun Feng from New York, and Kanak Jha, Nikhil Kumar, and Nicholas Tio all from California. They were unable to prevail against Iran in a tight contest, loosing 2:3. After falling to Team Netherlands in the knock-out round, the U.S. Men’s team finished the tournament in 33rd place. CONGRATULATIONS!!! The team efforts of both the Women’s team and the Men’s team were apparent and the support of whole US Table Tennis delegation at the #ITTFWORLDS2018 was quite visible. The team of USA Coaches — Jun Gao , Stefan Feth and the USA Table Tennis High Performance Director Joerg Bitzigeio lead the USA National Teams to the successful results. Both Teams will be present and competing on the next ITTF Team World Championships.

Above and Below: Photos Courtesy Leon Libin

The ITTF 2018 LIEBHERR TEAM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS in Halmstad, Sweden was a Festival of High Performance Table Tennis and will be preserved in the memories and hearts of Global Table Tennis Community in years to come!

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