Sky High June Open
June 9, 2019, Aurora, Colorado
By: Richard McAfee, Tournament Director
Sky High Table Tennis Club, located at the Beck Recreation Center in Aurora, Colorado, hosted an USATT 2-Star Tournament on June 9th. The tournament marked a triumphant homecoming for former USATT Team Member, Yahao Zhang as he defeated 3-time US Men’s Champion, Timothy Want in a close 5 game match in the Finals of Division #1: 10-12, 11-4, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9. From the beginning of the match it was a battle between the experience and third ball attack strength of Wang versus the speed and shot making skills of Yahao. In the end, Yahao went for a couple of big shots and brought them in to take the title and the $500 first place money. Yahao who grew up in Denver, has been away from some years, attending college, getting married, and starting a family. He is currently in the process of moving back and the Table Tennis Community in Colorado is excited to have him back.
Tim, to his credit, survived a very tough 5-game semifinal match with Colorado Springs Star, Austin Preiss. Austin who won most of the longer exchanges with some amazing forehand counter topspins raced to a 10-6 lead in the final game. At that point, Tim dug in his heels, got aggressive and refused to miss as he took the six straight points to pull out the match. Yahao defeated Keenen Southall in the other semifinal in straight games. It was a fine result for Keenen who has been making rapid progress this year winning several local tournaments.
The format for the tournament was the very popular “Giant Round Robin” with players competing in groups in the morning to determine placement in one of five Divisions. Everyone advances into a Division and competes for titles in the afternoon.
The Sky High Club is sponsored by Joola and features 11 new Joola SC 3000 Tables and the tournament ball was the new Joola Prime 3-Star. Tournament staff included: Richard McAfee, Peter Christofolo, and John Miller.
Once again, our Tournament was sponsored by Mama La’s Kitchen. Not only do they sponsor the tournament, but they also provide an on-site food truck serving their delicious food throughout the day to the athletes. Other sponsors include: Lee Kum Kee, Boulder Ice Cream and the Stuffed Truck.
Sky High would like to give a special “thank you” to Thuan La, representing Mama La’s Kitchen, for being on-hand to pass out more than $1,000 in cash, gift bags, and trophies to the finalists of each Division.
Division 1 Yahao Zhang – Winner
Timothy Wang – Runner-up
Division 2 Matt Gandy – Winner
James Fu – Runner-up
Division 3 Aaron Tiktin – Winner
Hristo Djoumaliev – Runner-up
Division 4 Tanmay Jain – Winner
Joseph Schrag – Runner-up
Division 5 Antony Chandy – Winner
Nguyen Tran – Runner-up