Located 40 miles outside of downtown Chicago IL, the Vaughan Athletic Center in Aurora, IL will be the center of USA Table Tennis on January 18-19th, 2014 as the host of the inaugural Aurora Cup tournament. The four-star USATT sanctioned tournament will bring together over 250 players from 17 states to compete for $8,000 in prize money in 22 different events.
The top 4 seeds in the tournament are all Chinese players currently residing in the US. Top seeded Mingyu Shi (2750) and Diwei Shi (2627) are from Atlanta, GA. Both have wins over exceptional US players including past US National Champion David Zhuang (2657) and former US Collegiate National Champion Gao YanJun (2523). Cheng Li (2582) from Mississippi and Zhang Yichi (2582) from New Jersey complete the top 4 seeds.
Other notable players who are also vying for the championship title include Jim Butler (2533), 1990, 1992, and 1993 US National Champion, Yue Wu (2533) top ranked female player in the tournament, Samson Dubina (2515) from Ohio and Fernando Yamazato (2483) from Lindenwood University.
Undoubtedly, the number of quality of players has surprised even tournament director Swavek Lorenc, who intends to use this inaugural tournament to grow the Chicago metropolitan area and the Midwest as a prestigious table tennis powerhouse.