St. Louis Open Hopes to Set an Example with US Citizen Only “Elite Event”
For many years developing elite US players has been a top priority for growing table tennis in the U.S., but at the St. Louis Open, tournament director Danny Seemiller has taken this task into his own hands. Only U.S. Olympic eligible players (US Citizens) may enter the unique “Elite Event” which features the most prize money out of any of the events at the 4-star tournament ($2000 for the winner, $6,200 overall).
Danny Seemiller’s contributions to USA Table Tennis are immeasurable; first as a ground-breaking player, then as USA Table Tennis President and USA National Team Coach. Currently residing in South Bend, Indiana, Danny has dedicated his coaching career to developing home grown elite level players. From beginners to Olympians, National Champions and National Team Members, Danny is able to develop a love of table tennis in all of his students. As proof of his impact on his players, many of his top students who no longer live in the Midwest are traveling to St. Louis to compete in the St. Louis Open in support of their beloved coach and mentor. These include 2004 Olympian Mark Hazinski (2530) and former Junior National Team member Joey Cochran (2399).
Danny hopes that more tournaments in the US will hold events similar to the “Elite Event” to encourage the development of top U.S. players. Events which only allow U.S. Olympic eligible participants can provide opportunities for American players to take home championship titles and improve their game.
The 4-Star Butterfly St. Louis Open will begin Saturday May 2nd, and end Sunday May 3rd. It will feature a total of 24 events with $15,000 in prize money. In addition to the highly anticipated “Elite Event”, the tournament will also feature a traditional Open Singles event, as well as doubles, hardbat, rating and age events.