After a six-month hiatus, tournaments are back at the Westchester Table Tennis Center — with new safety protocols, of course.
Eighty-two players took part in our August “Little Open” this past weekend. We called it a “Little” Open, because New York State limits us to 50 people in the facility at once.
We scheduled one event each on Saturday morning and afternoon (U1600 and U2000), and one event each on Sunday morning and afternoon (U2250 and Open). Each was limited to 36 players. Spectators were not allowed, except for one parent, guardian, or coach for a minor. Masks were required at all times when not playing. We did a temperature check on everyone entering the facility and provided hand sanitizer at every table and at the front desk.
The U2250 and Open events reached our maximum number of entrants. The other two were about two-thirds full.
Despite the restrictions, the quality of the competition was strong. Four players were rated over 2500. Felix Lartey, a visiting member of the Ghanaian national table tennis team (USATT-rated 2382), knocked off Mahmoud Zaghloul (2635) in straight games. Kokou Fanny (2444) eliminated Sameh Awadallah (2514) in four games. Felix lost to Kokou in a hard-fought five games.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the playoff draw, Adar Alguetti of the U.S. men’s team (2581) defeated Luis Diaz (2367) and Jon Ebuen (2516), before defeating Kokou in straight games in the final to take the $800 first prize.