The multinational players showcase their lobs, chops and smashes in the Asia-lympics court.
Contributed By Joshua Chang
|CN PHOTO: Geoffery Chow
The quarter finals leading to the finals of the Asia-lympics table tennis competition began on Day Four as the atmosphere teemed with excitement.
Following the regulations set by the International Table Tennis Federation, service alternated between opponents every two points until a player reached 11 points with at least a two-point lead. A player had to win three out of five sets to move to the next phase of competition.
The semi-finals of the Female Singles Open category saw Yap Jiayi, 16 from CHC Singapore play against Sandra Boon, 30 from CHCKL. Yap managed to secure a place in the finals by winning three sets at a comfortable margin. A student from Gan Eng Seng Secondary, Yap picked up table tennis at the age of eight and has been playing ever since. She also triumphed over Maria Adriynnti from CHCKL in the finals by winning three sets in a row.
Abdiel R.P. Pangemanan, a pastor from GPDI Elohim Sidoarjo, Indonesia, also competed against Hu Shih Hao from Glory and Beauty Church, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in the Male Singles Open quarter finals. Hu easily secured victory. Pangemanan acknowledged that he was up against a “very strong opponent” and learned to catch Hu’s spinball drive even during the match. Hu also had very strong support from his church members during the match; the group of twenty created fanfare with empty mineral water bottles shouting a cheer every time their hero scored a point.
The second round of the quarter finals saw Yosia Kurniawan Gunadi from CHCKL play against Herry Soesetyo from GPDI Elohim. Gunadi secured victory with three wins in a row with strong support from his members cheering him on. He commented that since this was his first time competing, he had to learn how to handle pressure and expectation from his supporters during the game.
The semi finals of the Male Singles Open category saw student Issac Choong Ling Kit, 16 from CHCKL play against Tan Shiet Pin, 16 from CHC Singapore. Tan easily won 11 – 3, 11 – 5 and 11 – 2 to move to the next round. Evidently, he started representing his school in national competitions at the age of 13.
The finals saw Hu play against Tan. It was a close fight, with both players taking turns to take the lead. Hu eventually beat Tan by a narrow margin for three sets. Though he was elated to win the competition, the champion remained humble by saying that he joined the competition because they needed someone to fill in the empty vacancy. It was truly a satisfying hour for all the competitors as they gained exposure to different playing styles.