|Jack Wang in action at the 2014 Cary Cup|
Jack Wang, 13 from Livingston N.J. had the tournament of a lifetime at this past weekend’s Cary Cup event. Rated 2330, Jack took down Felipe Morita (2372), Yanjun Gao (2516) and Cheng Li (2598) to advance to the quarterfinals of this year’s highly competitive field. Jack was the only junior and American trained player to make it into the final 16, where he stunned the crowd with his unbelievable 3-2 win over Cheng Li (2598) to advance to the quarterfinals.
Jack credits his phenomenal performance to his leap in mental maturity and his ability to keep his calm during his matches. At this tournament, he was able to read the other players and develop strategies that could combat his opponents who may have more experience and training than him. Against Yanjun Gao (2516) in the Division A Round Robin, Jack was down 0-2, and 5-9 in the fifth before coming back to win and book his place into the top 16. In the 8ths, Jack was a heavy underdog against Cheng Li (2598) who had beaten Jim Butler (2557) in the semi-finals of the 2014 Butterfly Aurora Cup in January. At first, Jack was not sure he could win, but then realized Cheng was very nervous. He capitalized on that opportunity by playing to Cheng’s weaknesses and gained momentum throughout the match. Although Jack lost to Jiaqi Zheng (2571) in the next round, he had a tremendous run, and should be very pleased with his performance.
Jack trains 7 days a week, spending Monday through Thursday training with XinXu Zhao (2573) at his home, Friday and Saturdays at LYTTC, and Sundays playing in tournaments. Tournament tough and advancing quickly in his physical and mental abilities as a player, Jack is rising fast, and will be a serious contender for a place on the USA Junior and Cadet teams at this year’s team trials.
In addition to his table tennis accolades, Jack is also an avid pianist and former black belt in karate. Although he always puts academics first, he is really happy with his performance at Cary Cup and hopes to do even better at his next big event, the ITTF Junior and Cadet Open in Toronto from April 10-13th.
Rewatch the Web Stream from Cary courtesy of Butterfly!