WVC Has Been a Highlight of Li's Decorated Playing Career

By Richard Finn | April 17, 2018, 3:11 p.m. (ET)

Yuxiang Li has enjoyed a long and decorated playing career. 

He is a multi-time U.S. National age division singles and doubles champion and finalist in his adopted country. In 2017 he was the doubles champion in the 40, 50 and 60 age divisions and was singles runner-up in the 50 and 60 age division. In 2016 and 2014 he also won numerous age division doubles and singles crowns at the U.S. Nationals.

Internationally Li has also been widely successful with a winning professional career in Europe and many other titles, appearing in the first division of the German bundesliga along the way.

In the world’s biggest table tennis tournament, the World Veterans Championships (WVC), Li is a four-time champion in singles and doubles.

In June he will look to add to his trophy case of WVC titles when the 2018 edition comes to Las Vegas and the United Sates for the first time since 1990.

More than 4,000 participants from 91 countries are expected to gather June 18-24 for the 19th WVC spectacular.  One hundred and thirty tables and 4,000 square feet of playing space will be used at the Las Vegas Convention center to accommodate the biennial event There will be 11 age divisions beginning with 40 and over and going all the way up to 90 and over featuring singles and doubles play.

Today Li devotes most of his time to coaching and teaching as the head coach at the prestigious NYITTC club in Flushing, NY, where he has been since 2006. Still, the 63-year-old is also sneaking in some of his own practice time to get ready for one of his favorite tournaments.

Li plans on competing in the 60-65 age division singles and doubles with Xinzhi Wang of China.

“I can not have real meaning of training as I was in China,” acknowledged Li.  “I usually play with our club members for fun.  I always do my best to win the matches. Recently, I won championships at Westchester (under 2500) and NYITTC (under 2450) club USATT sanctioned tournaments.  I can not say I am ready, but I am sure I will enjoy the tournament and have fun myself and with friends.”

Li has wonderful memories of his times at the WVC.

“WVC is our senior table tennis athlete's festival,” said Li, who last missed a WVC in 2004. “I can meet and play with athletes from all around the world, all kind levels.  I always makes new friends at every WVC, feel very happy.”

In a 20 year span up to the previous 2016 World Veteran Championships, Li has captured 7 championships titles - he was a 3-time singles champion, 3-times runner up and also a 4-time doubles champion and once doubles runner-up. 

The 2008 tournament in Brazil stands out as one of Li’s most happy memories of the WVC when he won both the singles and doubles titles and then graciously donated his prize money to the China Wen Chuan Earthquake Foundation. 

Li is looking forward to returning to Las Vegas for the tournament and feels that it will be a perfect host.

"This is US table tennis historical and most influenced record tournament.  As an over 20 years WVC player, I am honored to be an invited VIP player.  We can be at home, serve our table tennis friends from all over the world, discuss the playing skill, and enjoy the friendship.  I am looking forward to this wonderful moment.  I believe this great tournament will be a forever extraordinary memory for friends all over the world.  Although, I am the only US player who won many titles, this is already the past record.  I will play my best with other US players, and hope all the players show their best sport spirit and playing skill level.  I wish the 19th WVC, a great tournament will be most success," Yuxiang Li.