America’s Team Championship 2013

Newgy Robo-Pong

As the fifth version started to take place, there was a noticeable change in the event. Teams that had come in the past and were finishing 3rd and 4th place in the First Division, were now battling just to get in to there. With the growth of private table tennis clubs, the players are getting better and many former international level players are finding coaching jobs in the U.S. with several coming from both Atlanta and California.

The 2nd seeded “Powered By Robo-Pong” team of Sameh Awadallah, Mark Hazinski and Dan Seemiller had a real scare versus the #3 seeded team as Sameh Awadallah loses to Guo Hao -10, 11, 10, 6 in the first match and Mark Hazinski loses to Qi Wei in the second 10, 4, -8, 7 to go 0-2 down. The 2012/13 U.S. Collegiate Women’s Champion JiaQi Zheng looks to put the “Robo-Pong team” down 0-3, but Dan Seemiller is ever the fighter and pulls out the upset 13-11 in the fifth. This was the critical match as the momentum changed and with a 5-3 win earns at least 2nd place.

“Atlanta Table Tennis Academy” seeded #1, proved they were deserving of the top spot as they went undefeated through the group. Kewei Li (former top 100 in the world) earned the MVP honors by going undefeated in the First Division and may have gained some new followers of his style of play. Steady on defense from both sides Kewei was never hesitant to counter attack with a laser like forehand and would even attack weak balls with the backhand long pips side of his racket.

Many thanks go out to all the volunteers, the Rockford Visitors Bureau, the staff at the Best Western Clock Tower Resort, Tilted Kilt (hosts for the players’ party) and especially the Forest City Tennis Center for letting table tennis take over their facility for the weekend! Believe it or not they are excited to see us back in 2014 for the 6th Americas’ Team Championship.

Roger Dickson

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