Starting August 25, the best American and Canadian table tennis players will compete for North American supremacy at Capilano University in North Vancouver. On the women’s side the Americans are the unquestionable favourites with Ariel Hsing leading the charge. However, Canada’s freshly crowned Commonwealth Champion Mo Zhang may disagree. Mo Zhang is preparing at Table Tennis Canada’s new National High Performance Center at the Richmond Oval in Richmond, BC. While the Center is still in its early stages of operation, Zhang finds a complete high performance environment at the Oval, her base for preparation for leading up to the Commonwealth Games (2014), the PANAM Games (2015) and the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
The Canadian junior team is headed by Mississauga’s Anqi Luo, who has had a hard time with the American juniors over the past few years. At age 17, she still has another year in the junior category and she will try to win her first North American title in North Vancouver.
The Canadian men are the favourites, at least in the Men’s Singles. Eugene Zhen Wang has had a fantastic year culminating in last month’s win of the US Open, his first ITTF World Tour event crown. Wang has just started his professional career in Europe where he is based at the Olympic Training Center in Saarbrücken, Germany.
Quebec’s Pierre-Luc Theriault, Ontario’s Hongtao Chen and BC native Andre Ho will lead the Canadian Challenge, while the US’s Timothy Wang heads the American Challenge.
The Canadian junior boys team will face a tough task against their US counter parts. For the last month, the Canadian team has been preparing at China’s National training base in Zhending in the province of Hebei, a center where the Canadian team has spent many hours over the last few years.
Match play at the ITTF North America Championships goes from 9:30 to approx. 20:30 on each of the competition days. There will be Event Finals on each of the three days of competition:
Sunday, August 25
19:30 Championships Matches US vs Canada, Men’s and Women’s Team
Monday, August 26
19:30 Championships Matches US vs Canada, Junior Boys and Junior Girls Team
Tuesday, August 27
18:00 – 20:30 Singles Finals Series: Junior Girls, Junior Boys
Women’s Singles, Men’s Singles
Tickets for spectators are available at the door, or in advance at the Bridgeport Sports Club on Bridgeport Road in Richmond, BC