Butterfly Kicks-Off North American Tour with Highly Anticipated 2015 Butterfly Aurora Cup

By Barbara Wei | Jan. 13, 2015, 12 a.m. (ET)

Butterfly Kicks-Off North American Tour with Highly Anticipated 2015 Butterfly Aurora Cup

Ruichao ChenOn January 17-18th, over 300 players will compete at the Vaughan Athletic Center in Aurora, IL (40 miles outside of downtown Chicago) for $8000 of prize money at the 2nd annual Butterfly Aurora Cup. A resounding success in its inaugural year, the four-star USATT sanctioned tournament has been hotly anticipated by local, national and international players alike. Good conditions, high quality organization, and an energetic atmosphere, make this event a great way for table tennis players, fans and spectators alike to kick off the New Year. 

Many of last year’s top rated players have returned to complete in the Open event. Cheng Li (2580), last year’s runner up, is second seed this year; Yi Chi Zhang (2549) and Jim Butler (2543), semi-finalists last year, are 3rd and 4th seeds respectively. In addition, several new players are poised to snatch the title. Top seeded Ruichao Chen (2654) (photo on right) made his debut in the US competing at the 2014 Butterfly Cary Cup, and has had a hot year, recently winning the 2014 Westchester December Open over Michael Landers (2621). Also in the mix are Danny Seemiller Sr. (2498), Emad Barsoum (2485), Samson Dubina (2463), Sameh Awadallah (2454), Jeremy Hazin (2435), Joey Cochran (2411) and Nathan Hsu (2408).

In addition to the top seeds, this year’s Aurora Cup features many new players including for the first time international entries from Canada and Jamaica.

Tournament director Swavek Lorenc has tirelessly worked to put together a high quality event for each and every player, and hopes the event will help grow the Chicago metropolitan area and the Midwest as a prestigious table tennis powerhouse.

Continual coverage of the 2015 Butterfly Aurora Cup and stories about the athletes will be available at butterflyonline.com, or via Butterfly North America’s twitter and facebook pages. 

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