Sunday 17 September saw the first National Table Tennis event of the season take place, the North of Scotland Open at Aberdeen Sports Village, and the event drew a large entry of over 100 players from around Scotland.
Being our 'home' event, there was a large contingent entered across various events from the ASV Table Tennis Academy, and as we have come to expect, our players produced some excellent performances.
Academy player of the day had to be Tessa Yau (Albyn School). Tessa is now 15 years old and is competing in her first season as an U18 category player. Tessa came through the group stages untroubled, and eventually found herself against team mate Isla Stott (St. Margaret's School) in the semi-final. Tessa overcame Isla and went onto a comfortable 3-0 win in the final against Glasgow based player Wiktoria Smolarek. Not content with that win, Tessa went onto compete in the Woman's senior event. Seeded at No.3,Tessa produced some excellent results, and comfortably defeated No.1 seed Alisa Kahlid from Glasgow 3-0 in the final match, taking the Woman's title as well as the U18 title, fantastic stuff!
Similar to Tessa, Dylan Curry (Banchory Academy) is also competing in his first season in the U18 category, but despite that came into the event as the top seed. Dylan went onto prove his seeding was correct, dropping only one game in his quarter final 3-1 victory on the way to the final. In the final Dylan maintained his fantastic form with a comfortable 3-0 win over Ayrshire player Harvey McDonald.
In the U15 boys category, Rafal Wilowski (Banchory Academy) went in as No.1 seed in his final season at that age group. No.2 & No.4 seeds was another two Academy players in Yifei Fang (Robrt Gordon's) & Josef Bokedal (Aberdeen Grammar) respectively, both competing in their first year as U15 category players. All three boys did not disappoint, and all 3 made it through to the semi-final stage. This meant Rafal & Josef met in the first semi final, with Rafal coming out on top. In the second semi-final Yifei had a tough match against No.3 seed Gautam Kakar from Glasgow, and it was Guatam who made it though to play Rafal in the final. Rafal raced into a comfortable 2-0 lead, then relaxed allowing Guatam to take the next set Rafal then eased through 11-4 in the next set taking the U15 title, and the third of the day for the ASV Academy players.
A strong entry in the U13 boys also saw three Academy players in the last 4. Louis Loi (Markethill Primary), Jonathan Pan (Danestone Primary) & Dylan Thies (St. Joseph's Primary). Jonathan & Dylan had a very close semi-final, Jonathan coming through 3-1 winning 2 of the sets on duce. Louis also came through his semi-final 3-1 against Ayrshire player Charlie McGowan, to set up an all Aberdeen final with Jonathan. The final match could not have been closer, with Louis finally winning 11-9, 11-13, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7 in an incredibly close and exciting match.
In the mixed U11 section, Academy player Daniel Tibbets (Arduthie Primary) came though comfortably, only dropping one set the whole day and lifting the U11 title.
An incredible day and first event of the season for the ASV TT Academy players, taking six titles in total!
On the back of the event, the selections were made for the 2 player teams for the Home Nations Championships in Guernsey from the 9-12 November. This consists of U15, U18 & Senior teams for male and female.
Rafal Wilowski & Dylan Curry were selected for the U15 & U18 boys teams respectively, while both Tessa Yau & Isla Stott were selected for the U18 girls team. This means a total of 4 ASV Academy players are making up 50% of all the Scottish U15 & U18 teams at the Championships, a remarkable achievement for one club!
The next event of the season is the Perth Grand Prix on Sunday 14 October, watch this space for an update on the ASV Academy Players performances!