Athletes of Month - December

By USOC | Jan. 01, 2014, 9 a.m. (ET)

The US Olympic Committee selects a set of male and female athletes of the month and a team of the month from among the National Governing Bodies (NGBs).  

USA Table Tennis is proud of our December nominees for this great honor and congratulate Tahl, Ariel, and Kanak along with their coaches, families and clubs for helping make these achievements possible.  

Tahl Leibovitz

Tahl Leibovitz, Table Tennis (para)
Four-time U.S. Paralympian Tahl Leibovitz (Queens, N.Y.) won four international medals this month. Leibovitz claimed one gold and one silver medal at the 2013 Mike Dempsey Memorial Table Tennis Championships, held Dec. 6-8 in San Diego. Leibovitz defended his Class 9 singles title and claimed the silver medal in the Class 10 team event with partner Samuel Huang. (New York, N.Y.) A day later, Leibovitz led Team USA with two silver medals at the 2013 Para Pan Am Championships, held Dec. 9-16 in San Jose, Costa Rica. Leibovitz also captured the silver medal in Class 9 singles before pairing with Paralympian Wayne Lo (Sunnyvale, Calif.) in the team event to win his second silver medal of the event.

 Ariel Hsing

Ariel Hsing, Table Tennis (female)
Ariel Hsing (San Jose, Calif.) finished 2013 with three national titles at the 2013 U.S. National Table Tennis Championships, held Dec. 17-21 in Las Vegas. The Princeton University freshman won the women’s singles, women’s doubles (with Judy Hugh) and mixed doubles (with Timothy Wang) events. Earlier this month, Hsing finished in the top-16 in girls’ singles, top-8 in girls' team and doubles events at the 2013 World Junior Championships, held Dec. 1-8 in Rabat, Morocco.

Kanak Jha

Kanak Jha, Table Tennis (male)
Kanak Jha (Milpitas, Calif.) won four national titles at the 2013 U.S. National Table Tennis Championships, held Dec. 17-21 in Las Vegas. Jha won 27 out of 28 matches en route to becoming the U-21 men’s singles champion, junior boys’ singles champion, cadet boys’ singles champion and junior boys’ team champion (World Champions Table Tennis Academy). The 13-year-old also became the youngest men’s singles semifinalist in USA Table Tennis history after earning the men’s singles bronze medal.