18 Dec 2016

Titles in the Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles events decided, in addition to the Under 21 Men’s Singles and Under 21 Women’s Singles competitions; play in the 2016 United States Open in Las Vegas came to a close on Saturday 17th December.

Also, it brought a conclusion the international calendar for the year; one which started on Wednesday 20th January in Budapest with the 2016 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The record on the concluding day in Las Vegas reads that the host nation’s Bob Cheng and Tao Wenzhang won the Men’s Doubles event beating Japan’s Kenji Matsudaira and Yuki Hurano in the final (11-7, 11-9, 1-11, 11-9, 11-9); it also reads that Sianren Wei brought the United States further cause for celebration, he won the Under 21 Men’s Singles title beating colleague Zhao Zirui at the final hurdle (11-8, 8-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-4).

Disappointment for Japan on the concluding day but there was cause for joy, in the Women’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Under 21 Women’s Singles events it was gold and silver.

Takako Nagao and Yui Odono secured the Women’s Doubles title beating Azusa Ichikawa and Marko Takahsashi in the final (7-11, 11-7, 11-3, 13-15, 15-13, 2-11, 11-8); Ryohei Kanoya and Yui Odono clinched Mixed Doubles gold at the final expense of Takuya Jin and Yuki Matsumoto (8-11, 4-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-6, 11-3), whilst Takako Nagao defeated Kae Kabasawa to be crowned the Under 21 Women’s Singles champion.

Facts, those are the simple facts in what might be termed the major events; add the Men’s Singles and Women’s Singles titles won one day earlier respectively by Wang Wei of the United States and Puerto Rico’s Adriana Diaz and you have the full gambit, seven events.

Not so, add another 98 events to make the grand total 105 and, if you wish, that number can be termed even higher.

At the same time as the United States Open was held; in the same premises the United States Para Open was staged, 16 individual events, eight team competitions. The total number is a staggering 129 events.

Simply in Las Vegas there was table tennis for everyone and the opportunity for those whose best years may have long since gone but whose passion for the sport in undiminished.

Not the name Danny Seemiller, the only player in the history of sport to have a way of holding the racket named after him, the “Seemiller grip”, shake-hands using the same side of the racket for the backhand as for the forehand.

He won the Men’s Singles Over 60 years title beating United States colleague Phan Tung in the final (9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-3); whilst joining forces with Tal Leibovitz to win the Men’s Doubles Over 40 Years title. The duo accounted for David Sakai and Dell Sweeris in the final (11-4, 11-5, 11-4).

Victory against David Sakai, there was also victory in harness with David Sakai, Together they won both the Men’s Doubles Over 50 years and Men’s Doubles Over 60 Years titles. In the former they beat Zhuang Jian and James Therriault in the final (11-6, 11-9, 11-5), in the latter Sung Yang and Steve Ma (11-5, 8-11, 11-5, 11-4).

David Sakai and Danny Seemiller in harmony and they are in harmony in more ways than one; together they are the driving force behind the 2018 World Veteran Championships, likewise to be staged in Las Vegas.

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General News Kenji Matsudaira Takuya Jin Danny Seemiller