London PING! No12 Ranking Tournament sets new records.
With just over 200 entries, this was always going to be another big London Ranking Tournament. But when 66 youngsters turned up for the Band 5 event in the afternoon, it quickly became apparent that a new record was about to be set. Six months ago in the London Academy an impressive 57 players battled it out for Band 5 honours. That looked like a record that was going to be hard to beat. But this past weekend, in the magnificent Greenhouse Sports Centre, that record was exceeded by nine. Playing on 11 tables in groups of six, the 66 would-be champions battled it out for four hours and fifteen minutes. And thanks to the wonderful efforts of the on- the-day volunteers, there was barely a problem to be had.
If ever there was proof needed that young people can compete and cooperate at the very same time, this was it. In sporting journalism it is customary to highlight the winners. But in London PING tournaments every participant is regarded as a winner. And so it was last weekend. In the spirit of total inclusion, players of international standing rubbed shoulders with complete novices.
Band 1 continued its growing reputation for high quality performances but of equal importance was the Band 5b and 6b groups where young beginners could battle away against fellow novices on an equal footing. In a day of many highlights, it is hard to find something more dramatic and more satisfying than watching those young beginners develop their table tennis tournament skills.
And who could not but be impressed by the regular participation of the England Down Syndrome team who bring endless joy, humour and passion to the London PING tournaments. We welcome your valuable participation both for your wonderful skills and as a continued reminder of the irrepressible human spirit.
The London PING road show rolls on to Richmond next month where the Richmond Park Academy will host its second London Ranking satellite tournament on the 10th December starting at 4pm. There will be just four bands to choose from; Bands 3, 4, 5 and 6. Booking is via email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
Payment can be made on the day.
Best regards to all. Jon k
National League Success
Players and coaches alike have had Sunday the 10th of December in the back of their mind for some time now. It signifies the first National League fixture for Richmond Park Table Tennis club. A long day of table tennis awaited our two squads and a chance to compete with the best London has to offer.
Both our Junior (U18) and our Cadet (U14) squads were off to a great start with strong wins for both sides. The Junior squad made up of Josh Gubby, Mo Larbi and Kian Kazemian played their first fixture against London Greenhouse East finishing 6-3 in our favour. Kian went undefeated winning all 3 of his games in convincing fashion with some fantastic attacking shots. The Cadet squad featured William Wakefield, Orlando Smith, Matias Bonanomi and Oliver Longhurst. They also opened their account with a win in their first game against the Greenhouse centre 4-2. William Wakefield had a strong opening performance taking a win from Greenhouse’s number one player in a tightly fought contest.
The Junior side had two remaining fixtures and unfortunately came out on the losing side in these. A tough 7-2 loss against Horsham Spinners, who went undefeated throughout the day, showed our boys what the standard of the very top teams in this league is. We followed this up with an agonising loss in a tightly contested fixture against London Greenhouse East, falling 5-4. It was a great opportunity for our young squad to learn. Josh still has two years of eligibility whilst Mo and Kian have another four years at this age group. Mo caused his opponents trouble throughout the day with his clever play whilst Josh showed a mental strength to win a tough game whilst playing through an injury. They have shown they can compete at this level and it will be exciting to see how they perform in this competition in years to come.
Our young cadets finished with a record of 3 wins and 1 draw. The second fixture against London Greenhouse East was certainly the most exciting fixture of the day. In a match where many believed us to be the underdogs our boys fought hard to claw back a 3-1 deficit to tie the match and earn a 3-3 draw. Matias recorded an upset win against their number 1 seed with one game going to a tantalising 22-20 score line. This win put us 3-2 down with a crucial final game. Oliver stepped up to the occasion and calmly won his fixture to secure the draw. The boys spirit was lifted and they carried this momentum into their next fixture against ‘The Oaks’ recording a comfortable 5-1 win. The youngest member of our squad, Orlando Smith, showed his potential picking up a win against a strong opponent and followed this up with a further two wins in our final fixture against Westminster. By this stage the boys were flying and finished the day with a 6-0 display.
The opening days results can be seen below. It was a great day for our first National League appearance as a club. Lots to celebrate as individuals and as a collective team but more importantly it has given the players drive to work on specific elements of their game before the next set of fixtures on the 15th of December.
Satellite tournament at RPA soars into the stratosphere
The ninth and penultimate London community ranking tournament of the 2018/19 season was both a sizzling ninety strong event and a completely sold out event. The second of the satellite tournaments, this one, held at the Richmond Park Academy, had many wonderful highlights but perhaps the most noteworthy was the high number of young girls competing across the three bands.
In line with one of Table Tennis England's target groups, the tournament attracted no less than twenty young female participants, seven of whom reached the knockout stage by coming first or second in their respective groups.
Art the top end of the tournament, Sienna J from the London Academy took equal top spot in Band Four, losing out on the trophy to RPA's Mohammed L only on the heartbreaking head to head rule. Taking on a powerful group of older boys, Sienna showed the whole tournament why she is ranked number one in the country in both the Under 10 & Under 11 categories.
At the other end of the tournament in Band 6 a huge contingent of young girls from nearby Barnes Primary battled away for two and a half hours and underlined just why their school has been so successful in the English Schools Championships over the past decade. Standout performances came from Alice E, Esme B and Helena C.
With four girls reaching the Band 6 knockout stage and Miriam Yonas from the Chelsea Academy going all the way to the semi-finals, it certainly was a great day for girl power on the table tennis tables.
But the girls were not finished yet. Emily C, the only female of the eight players through to the knockout stage, went all the way to the winners podium and claimed the gold medal beating her talented brother in the final.
All in all, a wonderful advertisement for female table tennis and further proof that community table is alive and well in the capital. A huge thanks to the RPA and their magnificent staff for hosting the tournament and a big thank you to all the participating schools, particularly Barnes Primary and the London and Chelsea Academies.
The tenth and final tournament of the season takes place at the London Academy on Saturday 6th July. Entry forms are now online on our website londonping.co.uk. Book early so you don't miss out.
The next London Ping Ranking tournament will be hosted by Richmond Park Academy on Tuesday 25th June from 4 pm. Everybody is welcome so book now to secure your place. You have a choice of three bands 4, 5 and 6 with London ranking points available for every win in every band! It is a great way of being competitive and testing skills against players from other clubs.
Barnes Primary Year 5s take on RPA and give a good account of themselves
Things don't always turn out as planned. What was initially planned to be a Richmond Borough Primary School contest, turned into a fascinating battle between the Year7 Richmond Park Academy team and the Year 5's from Barnes Primary. Due to a combination of unforeseen factors, only Barnes Primary were able to send teams to this inaugural event, but thanks to the quick thinking of Richmond Park Academy PE team, their Year 7 table tennis squad stepped in to create a wonderful afternoon of table tennis. Unsurprisingly, they were a little too strong for the young Barnes contingent, but many of the matches were tight and the stronger players from Barnes did pick up some significant victories.
But, as is often the case in spontaneous sporting events, some real and unexpected positives came to the fore. Firstly, the RPA Year 7's tasted the thrill of victory, winning the day comfortably against both the Barnes A and B teams. No surprise there perhaps, but considering this was the first taste of competitive play for many of the RPA team, it was a very positive experience. And it must be added that their sporting attitudes towards their younger opponents was exemplary. For this they should be heartily congratulated.
Secondly, for the young Barnes players, this was a most important experience. Many of the 24 strong squad had never played any form of competitive match, and coming out of your school comfort zone is invariably a daunting experience. But they were not overwhelmed. Far from it. All of the players stepped up to the occasion and quite a few of the squad really did excel. And this tough competitive experience will surely stand them in good stead for next year's competitions.
The stage is now set for the RPA to host its first London Ranking Tournament on Tuesday the 25th June. On-the-day registration opens at 4pm and matches will start at 4.30 and run through to 7pm. Many of the Year 6 Barnes players are expected to compete and some of the Year 5's may now feel confident enough to play in their first London-wide tournament. Some East Sheen players are also expected to attend as are contingents from the London Academy, Chelsea Academy and the amazing network of Greenhouse Schools. There are three Bands on offer; Bands 4,5 &6. Just email your entries to email@example.com or enter directly through the Richmond Park Academy PE department. This will be the ninth London Ranking Tournament and the second Satellite tournament.
London Ranking Tournament sees a great showing from Richmond Park TTC
Last weekend saw the eighth London Ranking Tournament unfold at the Greenhouse Sports Centre and the twenty plus West London Ping contingent gave a good account of themselves with eleven WLP combatants reaching the knockout stages and four of those reaching the quarter finals in what proved to be a very strong field.
Band 6 Mehdi and Noor al H from the Chelsea Academy both reached the knock-out stage as did Anastasia P from the Richmond Park Academy and Zayden C from Barnes Primary School. Anastasia and Zayden were then draw against each other and on this occasion it was Zayden who triumphed, reaching his first ever quarter final. It took the eventual winner from Eastlea Community School to stop him getting to the semi-finals.
In Band 5 it was the turn of the talented Richmond Park squad to show what they could do and they did not disappoint. Three RPA's, William W, Caio R and Oliver L made the knockout stage, with both William and Oliver getting through to the quarters.
Band 4 saw four West London Ping players reaching the knockout stage; Mohammed L (Richmond Park Academy & ex Barnes Primary and Ed G Z, ex Barnes Primary and Kian K and Oliver L from the Richmond Park Academy. It was Kian who particularly impressed, beating his more experienced opponent to reach the quarter finals.
All in all a successful day for West London Ping given that their stronger players from the Chelsea Academy were all absent due to GCSE preoccupations. Hopefully all players will be back in action for the next Satellite London Ranking tournament to be held at the Richmond Park Academy on Tuesday 25th June. Entry forms will be available next week.
A big thank you to our partners, Top Spin Sports and Greenhouse Sports and to all the players, coaches, parents and volunteers for making the tournament a success.