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$2700 3-Star Butterfly MDTTC April Open

By Larry Hodges | April 21, 2018, 3:12 p.m. (ET)

2018 Butterfly April Open MDTTC

$2700 3-Star Butterfly MDTTC April Open

April 14-15, 2018 Maryland Table Tennis Center Gaithersburg, MD

By Larry Hodges, tournament director

Lots of five-game matches this time, with an epic seven-gamer in the Open final! What a tournament it was. Alas, I missed much of it because I was at the control desk running it while the players were having all the fun.

Jishan Liang had to come back from down 1-3 in the Open final against a red-hot Martin Jezo, who was battling both the 2700 player and leg cramps, with Jishan winning, -10,-10,3,-9,7,4,3. Martin, who was serve and ripping winners (especially with his backhand), and who seemed to have a knack for winning close ones, also pulled out a close one in the quarters against chopper/looper Wang Qingliang, -4,5,9,-10,9, and four relatively close ones against Jeffrey Zeng in the semis, 7,8,8,9. Another super-close five-gamer was Lidney Castro over Gabriel Skolnick in the quarters, 9,-6,9,-4,9.

There were some ongoing umpire issues as well - lefty Jishan was faulted for hidden serves several times in the final against Martin, and Jeffrey had problems with his umpire as well. I was too far away and not really in a position to tell if the serves were legal or not.

Besides the Open, three other finals went the full distance, two of them 11-9 in the fifth. Sun Xiao Jian made an epic comeback against Paul Elliott in the Under 1600 final. After losing the first two games, he won three straight 11-9 games! Final scores were -7,-8,9,9,9. So Paul actually outscored Sun, 49-48 - that's close. In Under 1600, it was Wang Zhanton over Andrew Nolan, -4,10,-11,5,8. Wang also won Under 1900 over 9-year-old chopper Andy Wu, with Wu winning another close match in the semifinals over 11-year-old Lance Wei, 8,8,-5,-11,8. In Under 1000, it was Christian Funderberg, winning his first table tennis trophy, over Kelven Zhou in another epically close match, 9,-10,-12,5,9.

Congrats to Champions Jishan Liang, Gabriel Skolnick, Mohamed Kamara, Sun Xiao Jian, Wang Zhangton (twice), Danny Wan, Christian Funderberg, Thomas Sampson, Ronald Chen, and Stanley Hsu!

Along with the tournament we had two other "events" going on. There was a bake sale all day both days, with the profits going to the HW Global Foundation Talent Program, the junior program they run at MDTTC. (The kids and their parents ran it.) The other was the Larry Hodges book sale! I've been thinking about doing this for years, but I finally set up a table next to the control desk, and when I was free, sold my books - 13 different ones, both table tennis and science fiction. I ended up selling 18 books.

The tournament was processed on Monday, the day after the tournament - remember when we often had to wait weeks? Here are the rating results. Here are the biggest gainers - the "100 Point Club":

  • 203 by Alexey Andreev, 1433 to 1636
  • 143 by Di Wu, 916 to 1059
  • 124 by Lance Wei, 1455 to 1579
  • 111 by Zhantong Wang, 1562 to 1673
  • 104 by Xiao Jian Sun, 1797 to 1901

As usual, a great thanks goes to sponsors Butterfly, PongMobile, and HW Global Foundation, the latter which runs the Talent Development program that trains at MDTTC – which swept all four semifinal spots in both junior events. A great thanks also goes to Mossa Barandao of PongMobile, who helped run the tournament – he’s at the control desk the entire tournament doing much of the data input, plus taking pictures - see links below in results. (Mossa also sets up a station at our tournaments and leagues so players can easily look up via PongMobile, their ratings and ratings histories, both in numbers and graphic form. The station is always surrounded by players looking up all their friends, coaches, and rivals.) Another sponsor (via donation to HW Global Foundation) was from David Wong-Campos (who also made the semifinals of Under 2200). Thanks goes to referee Paul Kovac and umpires Stephen Yeh and Vahid Khajoee. And a great thanks to the 89 players in the tournament!

Complete results are available at Omnipong. Here is a summary – click on event links to see pictures of the finalists!

Open Singles - Final: Jishan Liang d. Martin Jezo, -10,-10, 3, -9,7,4,3; SF: Liang d. Lidney Castro, 7,-10,9,13,9; Jezo d. Jeffrey Zeng, 7,8,8,9; QF: Liang d. Lin Hong, def.; Castro d. Gabriel Skolnick, 9,-6,9,-4,9; Jezo d. Wang Qingliang, -4,5,9,-10,9; Zeng d. Xu Rui, 9,8,2.

U2400 - Final: Gabriel Skolnick d. Wang Cheng, 8,9,-9,9; SF: Skolnick d. Shao Boyang, -5,8,12,-9,6; Wang d. Xu Rui, 11,8,4.

U2200 - Final: Mohamed Kamara d. Spencer Chen, 7,4,7; SF: Kamara d. William Xu, -8,10,9,-8,8; Chen d. Jaime Wang-Campos, 10,-8,11,5.

U2000 - Final: Sun Xiao Jian d. Paul Elliott, -7,-8,9,9,9; SF: Sun d. Stephen Emmons, 8,7,-8,-8,8; Elliott d. William Xu, 5,-3,6,-5,9.

U1900 - Final: Wang Zhantong d. Andy Wu, 4,9,6; SF: Wang d. Hanfei Hu, -8,8,5,2; Wu d. Lance Wei, 8,8,-5,-11,8.

U1600 - Final: Wang Zhantong d. Andrew Nolan, -4,10,-11,5,8; SF: Wang d. Mahmoud Youssef, 8,7,-6,3; Nolan d. Lance Wei, -10,8,9,-6,8.

U1300 - Final: Danny Wan d. Wu Di, 5,5,9; SF: Wan d. Pelle Deinoff, 5,-6,8,7; Wu d. James Wilson, 8,8,-8,5.

U1000 - Final: Christian Funderberg d. Kelvin Zhou, 9,-10,-12,5,9; SF: Funderberg d. David Xiao, 10,8,-5,-3,6; Zhou d. Ryan Lin, 8,9,6.

Over 50 - Final: Thomas Sampson d. John Potter, 7,6,4; SF: Sampson d. Sun Xiao Jian, 9,1,1; Potter d. Eugene Cristoaica, -2,7,11,4.

Under 15 - Final RR: 1st Ronald Chen, 3-0; 2nd Hanfei Hu, 2-1; 3rd Todd Klinger, 1-2; 4th Charlie Lapkoff, 0-3.

Under 12 - Final RR: 1st Stanley Hsu, 4-0; 2nd Kurtus Hsu, 3-1; 3rd Ryan Lin, 2-2; 4th Kenneth Liu, 1-3; 5th Kevin Yang, 0-4.