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Chicago Area Players Shine on Second Day of Play at 2015 Butterfly Aurora Open

By Barbara Wei | Jan. 19, 2015, 12 a.m. (ET)

Chicago Area Players Shine on Second Day of Play at 2015 Butterfly Aurora Open

Sameh Awadallah Local pride took center stage on the second day of play at the 2015 Butterfly Aurora Open, where Chicago area residents took first or second in 6 out of the 11 events including Women’s Singles, Over 40, U2500, U2200, U1000 and U3800 Doubles.

In the U2500 event, Emad Barsoum (2485), a new Chicagoland resident, beat Sameh Awadallah (2454) in the final 3-2. Sameh led 2-1, and 10-8 in the 4th before losing 12-10, and 11-3 in the 5th game. The biggest surprise of the event came in the semi-final round where Sameh upset Jimmy Butler 3-1. Sameh, with his incredible backhand loop, had given eventual Open Singles champion Ruichao Chen a tough match yesterday in the Open Singles quarterfinal, and was excited to improve upon his performance in the U2500 event.

Local Aurora, Illinois resident Yin Liu (2215) upset Chicago resident Maria Kretschmer (2232) in the Women’s Singles event to take top honors. Yin had recently moved to the Aurora area after playing in Indiana for many years before. After taking time off to raise her two young children, Yin has come back to table tennis as both a coach and player.

Spencer Lam (2231), from Schaumberg, Illinois, overcame top seed Andrey Mokhov (2253) to win the Over 40 event after finishing in the runner up position at both the 2014 Aurora Cup and the 2014 Badger Open. Net and Paddle Club (Chicago, Illinois) managers Paul Pashuku and Stan Ham won the U3800 Doubles event over K. Oh/J. Kim.

At the end of the weekend, Chicago area players can leave the 2015 Butterfly Aurora Open proud of their accomplishments and look forward to competing in next year’s event.

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

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