by Michael Reff
Over the span of four days, more than 30 events were played, in different age groups, men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, as well as mixed doubles events. A plethora of notable United States players secured gold medals.
In particular twice United States Olympian, national coach and Hall of Fame inductee Lily Yip won top honours in the women’s singles 50-59 year, women’s singles 40-59 years and in the champion of champions event. Also, she won the women’s doubles partnering Canada’s Hui Huang and was a 50-59 years mixed doubles semi-finalist partnering Gary Osmanoff.
Additional to Yip, the “Ping Pong Man” himself, Scott Preiss, likewise a prominent national coach and Hall of Famer, won the gold medal with a Longtime friend Santos Shih in the men’s doubles 60-64 years, even though this was the first time playing doubles with Santos.
“I was impressed with the playing conditions and venue for the tournament. I would certainly consider attending this tournament again.” Scott Preiss
Meanwhile, Jorge Vanegas, a wearer of many hats, acting as an official and umpire once the tournament was under way, also participated helped in preparation from unloading the trucks with the equipment to installing the flooring, carrying barriers, taking out tables and carrying towel boxes.
“I had many favourite moments… more than anything the friendship and camaraderie that was made present among the players to support each other in the time of the decisive matches. It was customary upon finishing each match, to take a photo as a memento among the two participants and pairs, followed by hugs and big smiles. I believe that this has been what has given this event a different and unique touch in comparison with other events I have been a participant.” Jorge Vanegas
A hearty congratulations to all the participants, crew, and spectators that made this great event a success! Lasting memories were surely made on and off the table.
USA Table Tennis: World Veterans Tour Event Shines in Sunny Florida