Photographs: Tournament referee Dave Fairholm presents the trophies to the players.
Article by Donald Pirie
The Edinburgh Table Tennis Open took place over the weekend of 7/8 January, with the junior events taking place on the Sunday. ASV TT Academy had a strong contingent at the event, and picked up 3 titles from the 6 available, as well as 3 Silver medals!
In the Boys U13 event, Louis Loi (Markethill Primary) and Daniel Tibbetts (Arduthie Primary) both made it through to the final. Daniel in particular had a difficult route, coming up against the Scottish Primary Schools Champion Charlie McGowan from Edinburgh in the group stages. Daniel played consistent and decisive table-tennis to take that group match 3-1, making it through to knock-out stages. However after coming through the last 16 & last 8 matches, Daniel found himself facing Charlie again in the semi final. This was much tougher that earlier with Daniel going down 0-2 in the match. However Daniel showed his determination and never say die attitude by taking the next 3 games in a row and making it through to face club mate Louis in the final.
Louis was comfortable through the group stages, and progressed through the knock-out to face Dylan Thies (Aberdeen Grammar) in the semi-final. Again this was a good tussle between club mates with Dylan holding the lead before Louis took the match 3-1 to set up an all ASV Academy final with Daniel.
In the final both boys played fantastic attacking table-tennis, and it was nip and tuck all the way to the deciding fifth end with the match poised at 2-2.
Louis lived up to his No.1 seeding and showed his greater experience easing through the final end 11-7 to take the U13 Title and Gold medal, Daniel collected the Silver.
Not to be outdone Hania Petryk (Seaton Primary) also made it through to the final of the Girls U13 event, defeating the No.2 seed Jessica Hogg from North Ayrshire 3-1 in the semi final. Hania then came up against the No.1 seed Amelia Smolarek from Glasgow in the final. Hania got off to a flying start, taking the first end 11-8, however after a close next two games that could have gone either way saw Hania 1-2 down. Ameila closed out the match in the next game and Hania took home the Silver medal.
In the U15 Boys event, Rafal Wilowski (Banchory Academy) and Josef Bokedal (Aberdeen Grammar) went in as the No.2 and No.5 seeds respectively. As expected Rafal made his way through to the semi-final comfortably. Josef, playing excellent serve & attack table-tennis, upset the seedings and also made it through to the semi-finals. Unfortunately this meant Josef would have to take on fellow ASV Academy member and team mate Rafal in the semi-final. A close match saw Rafal take the victory and progress to the final to face No.1 seed Charlie Morton from Glasgow. Rafal was in fine form, playing his usual game of soaking up pressure before counter attacking to great effect. In an excellent display Rafal took a comfortable 3-0 victory and claimed the U15 Title and Gold Medal.
ASV Table Tennis Academy's current UK schools U16 Champion Tessa Yau (Albyn School) was No.1 seed and hot favourite to take the girls U18 event. Tessa showed her class and dispatched all opponents comfortably in both the group and knock-out stages. No.2 seed Wiktoria Smolarek from Glasgow proved no more challenge in the final, also going down 3-0 to Tessa in the final, with Tessa claiming yet another U18 Open title and Gold medal, and cementing herself as the No.1 U18 female player in Scotland.
Aberdeen's third silver medal of the day came from Andrew McRae (Westhill Academy) in the boys U21 event. Still currently 16 years old, No.2 seed Andrew came though his group with little trouble, and dispatched the No.2 & 3 seeds on his way to the final. In the final Andrew was up against Harvey McDonald from South Ayrshire, and the boys have had several close contests in the past. This was no different and it was Andrew who took first blood and went up 1-0. In the next game Andrew continued to play well and had a game point that could have put him into a comfortable 2-0 lead. However it was not to be and it was Harvey who took the second and third games after deuce in both. This was the turning point and Andrew settled for the Silver medal in the end.
Another excellent and dominant tournament from the ASV TT Academy players, and with the Scottish Senior Schools Championships taking place next month, hopes are high for a large number of Scottish selections from Aberdeen.