At the World Championships staged in Houston last November, in the mixed doubles event, Lin Gaoyuan partnered Lily Zhang, Kanak Jha joined forces with Wang Manyu.
Lin Gaoyuan and Lily Zhang concluded matters with a bronze medal in their possession, for Kanak Jha and Wang Manyu, it was a third round exit.
An innovative decision has proved far seeing; at the forthcoming 2022 Houston Sports Awards, to be staged on Wednesday 20th April at the Wortham Center, local media has nominated the initiative in the “Sports Moment of the Year” category.
Make no mistake, the nomination is a major boost for table tennis in a part of the world where major franchise sports, especially basketball in the guise of the Houston Rockets, attract the attention.
Celebrating 50 years of “Ping Pong Diplomacy” was the major reason for forming the mixed doubles pairings; that now famous phrase fits well with the occasion. A major theme in past Sports Awards has been “believing in people”, the fact stressed that Houston is a “City of Hope and Opportunity”.
In 1971, hitherto closed doors were opened, one year later, China set foot in the United States.
A star-studded red carpet event, the Houston Sports Awards were created in 2018 by Harris County to celebrate the most successful athletes, coaches, teams, contributors, and moments in the Houston Sports Community.
In 2022 table tennis has made its presence felt.