Broward Dazzles as First US Youth Champions are Crowned

By Matt Hetherington | April 01, 2018, 12:14 a.m. (ET)

While the weather may be fine down in Florida, inside the Broward Table Tennis Club was where the action was buzzing. Within one of the finest facilities on the east coast of the United States, 79 of the nations most competitive Youth table tennis players were gathered to fight for supremacy in the first ever US Youth National Ranking Tournament. With large contingents from east and west coast and clubs scattered around the country the competition was fierce and the atmosphere was one of enthusiasm and encouragement as youth talents as young as 9 years old putting their skills on the line. 

The professional atmosphere of the Broward Club provided the perfect conditions for the staging of the contest with high quality, flooring, lighting and tables, along with an incredible base of support staff, all lead by Carlos Zeller and Terese Terranova. The competition kicked off with the Hopes (11-12yrs) and Cadet (under 15yrs) Boy's and Girl's Singles events and from the very beginning we were treated to some epic displays of fighting spirit, team unity and positive attitudes, along with some impressive skills. 

The Hopes and Cadets events showcased some outstanding matches and some great hopes for the future of table tennis in the USA as young players, with the support of family, teammates and coaches, fought for a place on the podium. 

The Naresh brothers from Chicago proved to be a spectacle in the early events with Sid Naresh staging a spectacular comeback from 2-0 down in the Cadet Boy's Singles Final (see video highlights below) against Ted Li. Sid, who hails from the Experior Table Tennis Club, was at one point trailing 10-7 and 2-1 before battling his way back into contention and powering to a result to take gold. A stunning match from both players with some incredible serve sequences from Li and brilliant rallying from both players. Speed was a big factor in the younger age categories as the Hopes got fired up. Nandan Naresh charged into the final of the Boy's Singles but was cut short by Houston International Table Tennis Academy's Daniel Tran. Tran was a dominant player in the event and managed to seal the gold over Naresh at the final hurdle.

Faith Hu from the Lily Yip Table Tennis Center secured gold in the Hopes Girl's Singles event, swinging back from an upset loss just a couple of weeks ago at the LYTTC Regional Hopes Qualifier. Hu fought her way through tough competition to overcome Emily Tan at the final calling and assert herself as a hot contender in USA Hopes competition.

The Cadet Girl's Singles event saw Tiffany Ke come out on top over a field of challenging opposition. Ke utilized her speed close to the table and rapid short pips forehand drive technique to overwhelm many of her opponents and prove herself the superior contender in the event. Joanna Sung and Ava Fu rounded out the silver and bronze medal positions respectively. 

All in all it was a perfect start for the event, Hopes and Cadets were concluded, a brilliant experience for all the young participants and an amazing lead-on to the Mini Cadet and Junior events which began today. A big congratulations to all of the participants and particularly those who finished with medals. You can find links below to the results, medalist pictures, Cadet Boy's final video highlights and also the final standings for the Hopes and Cadet events:

- 2018 US Youth National Ranking Tournament, Florida - Information, Draws and Results