Wilson, NC, December 07, 2015 --(PR.com
)-- As table tennis grows in the US, more and more international players have come to test their skills in U.S. tournaments. In the past, international players may have only attended US tournaments if the tournament was part of the Pro-Tour (e.g. U.S. Open) or they were directly invited to play by the organizing committee or tournament director. Although this is definitely an exciting way to bring top international superstars to US tournaments, organic increase of players of all levels from abroad adds an additional layer of excitement and professionalism to sport in America.
At the 2015 Butterfly Thanksgiving Teams tournament, teams from South Korea, China and Canada thrilled and fascinated players and spectators alike over the course of 3-day competition. In Division 1, “Nae-Dong Middle School” from South Korea brought a team of 3 boys, who surprised the competition with their playing ability at such a young age (all were 13-14 years old). Never losing a team tie without winning a few matches, the young South Korean team ultimately finished 6th in the hypercompetitive first division. “California TTC Boys Team” and “California Table Tennis Club (Girls Team)” were comprised of players from East China University of Science and Technology, located in Shanghai, China. Although there was some controversy in their placement into the second division, the two Chinese teams easily swept through the other teams without losing a single match to claim the first and second spot in their division. Although not having to travel as far as the Asian teams, Quebec TTF (Canada) also brought 3 teams who competed in Divisions 3, 4 and 5 with “Quebec TTF 1” winning Division 3.
In 2015, international participants graced the tables and venues at Butterfly North American Tour events across the country. In March, at the 2015 Butterfly Arnold Challenge, Jun Gu (China) was the surprise semi-finalist, taking out Mark Hazinski and Cheng Li in the 8ths and quarters. At the Butterfly LA Open in September, invited players Joo Sae Hyuk (South Korea) and Hou Yingchao (China) demonstrated their defensive prowess and finished 1-2 at the prestigious event. Finally in September, at the 2015 Butterfly Badger Open, Bima Negara (Indonesia) and Arif Irawan (Indonesia) caused havoc in the Open Singles and Open Doubles draws, taking out top players along the way. Increasing the participation of international players remains a goal for Butterfly events and US table tennis as we move into the New Year.
Coverage of the 2015 Butterfly Teams Tournament and stories about the athletes are available at ButterflyOnline.com, or via Butterfly North America’s Twitter and Facebook pages.