Bill Neely to be honored by TN Sports Hall of Fame

Newgy Robo-Pong

We are excited to announce, our friend, Bill Neely, will be honored by the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame for his dedication and achievements in the sport of Table Tennis! Congrats Bill!

The article and letter below is from the Knoxville Table Tennis Club’s website, www.knoxvillettc.net:

KTTC’s past president Bill Neely has been notified that he will be honored by Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame as one of the “Champion Within”.  The honoring luncheon will be held in Nashville Renaissance Hotel on May 17th, 2014.  The following is the letter Bill has received from the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.  Also, KTTC and Bill Neely would like to thank Dwain Kitchel for his tremendous effort to prepare the package for Bill’s nomination.  Although Bill is not selected to be inducted into the 2014 Class of the TN Sports Hall of Fame, Bill has already made history to become the first table tennis player to be honored by the TN Sports Hall of Fame.  Bill’s nomination entry will remain active with the TN Sports Hall of Fame for the next four years for consideration as well.  For Bill Neely bio that was sent to the TN Sports Hall of Fame, please click here.  Congratulation Bill, you have made history!

Dear Mr. Neely,

On behalf of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame I would like to congratulate you for being recognized as an individual in sports in the state of Tennessee who displays the heart of a champion. After much consideration by the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Inductee Council, and Board of Directors we would like to recognize your outstanding achievements at our Champion Within Luncheon on May 17, 2014, 11:30 a.m. at the Renaissance Hotel Nashville, 611 Commerce Street. Attending this luncheon to honor your accomplishments will be some of our past inductees and the 2014 Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame inductee class including Titan great Eddie George, Football Coach Carlton Flatt, and sportscaster Hope Hines.

The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Champion Within Luncheon, gives us an opportunity to celebrate the success of outstanding individuals from across the State of Tennessee.  You represent the qualities that we at the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame believe are the true prize gained in competition.

Again congratulations on being a recipient of this outstanding award.  You and a guest are invited to attend as a guest of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, and you will have the opportunity to speak two to three minutes.

Read more →

Why Can’t We Have Olympic Table Tennis Champions? – by Bill Neely

jena

The Modern Olympic Games are rich in tradition, famous, and respected events. They began in Athens Greece on April 16, 1896. Medals are coveted and represent world supremacy in every event won.

Table tennis first became an Olympic Sport in the summer of 1988 in Seoul, Korea. Since the 1896 beginning of the Modern Olympics the U. S. has won 2,298 total medals.

In the 23-years since table tennis became an Olympic sport, the United States has never won a single medal in table tennis. In a proud country so economically blessed and with athletes who compete favorably in most sports, why can’t we win a single medal in table tennis? We submit that it is not simply the lack of athletic acumen.

There are several complications which hinder if not preclude our parity in the sport of table tennis: Perhaps the major reason, from which all other sub-reasons spring is our national cultural disregard for table tennis: The sport is apparently not physical enough for our appetite: There is little money, i.e., signing bonuses and mega-bucks, for excellent play or coaching: Except for a very select few, it is not capable of rendering a decent living for players: Even this few must produce other marketable products (books, videos, recommended equipment, etc.) to survive: There is insufficient corporate support and no government support as in table tennis winning countries. Perhaps the missing ingredient is the lack of a table tennis infra-structure, or grass-root level interest and participation.

According to my research from the USATT, in the entire country there are only 450-young players under age 11 serious enough to play the sport of table tennis. Following the data, only 1,254 players under age 15 and 2,120 under 20 participating in the sport. The largest age group of registered USATT table tennis players is ages 41-60 with 2,998 players. There is no information readily available to show if these numbers are on the increase or decrease by age group. These low numbers may shed some light upon one of the reasons for our table tennis players never standing on the Olympic podium to receive a medal in table tennis for the United States.

Mr. Joseph Newgarden of Newgy Industries is determined to begin the attack of the under-participation aspect of table tennis through his Newgy Table Tennis Schools Program. It will be left to others to address the other needs.

Bill Neely

Read more →

Jonathon Lian Foothills X Gold Dollar Upset Open Table Tennis Tournament by Bill Neely

jena

On Saturday November 13, the Knoxville Table Tennis Club hosted one of their better tournaments of the year, the Jonathon Lien Foothills X Gold Dollar Upset Open. This tournament was named in honor of a special young man, Jonathon Lian, the grand upset winner in the previous tournament, the Foothills IX Gambler Gold Dollar Upset Open. There were 18-upsets during this tournament.

The Upper divisions were characterized by play befitting that of National events. There were 9-players rated above 2000, some of whom could have been under rated judging from their play. The matchup in the final Championship round could not have been predicted.

blog 3 pic In the end, however, the top seed, Richard Doverman from Potomac, Maryland prevailed over third seed, John Mar from Atlanta, Georgia. This final began at what appeared to be a walkthrough for Doverman, but that was not to be. After being down 2-0, Mar came back with blistering loops and smashes to win the third game at 4. From that point on, the games see-sawed, back and forth, with Doverman winning at 5, Mar at 4, and finally, Doverman took the seventh and final game at 11-6. (See Photo, Richard left, John right.) For their efforts Doverman and Mar rode off into the night with $500.00 and $300.00, respectively.

Yuichi Yageyama, after hard-fought losses, to John Mar, 7,-6,-9, 10, and -4, and to Richard Doverman -9,-5, and -9, won third place by defeating Liedy Handoko at 7, -7, -7, 8, and 5. Yuichi won $200.00 for his efforts.

Other great matches saw John Mar narrowly defeating Yevgeny Puzyrev at -8, -9, 9, 10, and 6: John Mar defeating Petro Stirbu at 7, -9, -9, 7, and 6: Richard Doverman defeating Liedy Handoko at -8, 5, 7, -5, and 9: Di Di De Souza defeated Slawomir Waclawik at-3, -5, 8, 9, and 7; and Slawomir Waclawik defeated Liedy Handoko -9, 8, 8, -7, and 7.

The other results were:

Division A: Jude Lam (Knoxville) 1st, Guido Schnable 2nd, Kui Zhang 3rd, and Yoshiyuki Okawa 4th. First, second, and third place players were money winners.

Division B: Tatiana Peskova 1st, Albert Zhang 2nd, Carl Bradley 3rd, and Roger Dickson 4th. Again first, second, and third place players were money winners.

Division C: Perry Smith 1st, Art Xu 2nd, Anene Onyemelukwe 3rd, and Kirin Kasichayanula (Knoxville) 4th.

Division D: Kathy McMillin (Knoxville) 1st, Josh Cook 2nd, John Edd Walker 3rd, and Manuel Dy 4th.

Division E: Archie Jordan (Knoxville) 1st, Jonathon Lian 2nd, Tim Roundtree 3rd, and Daniel Decker 4th.

First, second, and third place winners for Divisions C, D, and E won beautiful plaques designed by Kathy McMillin.

The “Winner-Take-All” winning doubles team was Petro Stirbu and Nick Broussard, each winning $107 for their wins.

Our thanks to Newgy, Zero-Pong, Horizons Avionics, Crown Plaza, and Phyllis Wheatley YWCA for their continued support and their part in making this event possible.

Bill Neely

Read more →

19 Wins by Bill Neely

jena

As reported in October, several of us ventured to the great states of Nevada and Utah for several days of competitive table tennis.

From the Knoxville Table Tennis Club, Ruth Gove, Woody Gove, and I represented Tennessee in the Henderson, Nevada Senior Games two-day tournament. We three also played in the two-day Nevada Senior Olympics. After 4-days of playing in Nevada and one travel day, the three of us proceeded to St. George Utah for a 4-day tournament called the Huntsman World Senior Games.

In the World Games 65-countries participated in the many different sports offered. There were 188-table tennis players, competing both in age groups and in USATT ratings groups.

In the three tournaments, 8-days total, I won 4-gold, 3-silver, and 2-bronze medals. My mixed doubles partner, Ruth Gove, won 2-gold and 3-silver medals, while my doubles partner, Woody Gove, won 2-gold medals. The overall result was 8-gold, 6-silver, and 2-bronze or 16-total medals for the Knoxville Table Tennis Club.

Accompanying us to the World Senior Games in Utah were Ruth and Dr. Paul Hua of Chattanooga and Tony Capozzi from Kingston. Ruth Hua won a gold and a bronze medal while Dr. Paul won a silver.

The five of us were not the greatest in numbers attending the 3-tournaments from our state. All together, our state won a total of 19 medals and was the most prolific in total numbers of medals won compared to every other state and country in the sport of table tennis.

I am looking forward to the U.S. Nationals in December.

Bill Neely

Read more →

Another Western Adventure by Bill Neely

jena1 comment

Ruth and Woody Gove and I will be playing a two-day table tennis tournament in the Henderson, Nevada Senior Games. Ruth and I will play doubles in an event where any combination of men and women will work. Woody does not yet have a doubles partner but we will all play singles. Ruth will play singles in the 70-74 age group while both Woody and I will play the 75-79 singles.

Two days later the three of us will play in the Nevada Senior Olympics in Las Vegas. Again we will all play singles in the same age events as in Henderson. However, Ruth and I will play mixed doubles and Woody and I will play men’s doubles in this event. Ruth will play women’s 70-74 singles, partnering with Doreen Schofield of Stockport, England.

Two days still later we will all play in the 4-day Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah. We will all play with the same partners as in Las Vegas.

We will enjoy seeing many of our friends and acquaintances which we have developed in the years of attending these games, some of whom we see only once a year. (This will be my 10th year at Las Vegas and the Huntsman.)

This will be Woody and my first competitions as doubles partners. Ruth and I have played mixed doubles many times, even back to the days when we were in much younger age groups.

We have other friends from East Tennessee going to the Huntsman World Games. Dr. Paul and Ruth Hua who are frequent attendees to the Nevada Senior Olympics and the World Senior World Games, will be there again this year.

A newcomer the World Games is Tony Capozzi of Lenoir City, Tennessee. We have talked these events up to Tony so much that he is really anxious to get started.

I will report on the results when we return. Keep your fingers crossed for our safety and success.

Bill Neely

Read more →