Article by Donald Pirie
The Scottish National Table Tennis Championships took place over the weekend of 28-29 April, with the junior events taking place on the Sunday 29 April.
U18 Girls Gold: Isla Stott & Tessa Yau
As it is a closed National event, there are various rules around entry, and many of the ASV TT Academy players are not eligible, however we still had a contingent of 13 players attend the event where we contested 4 events in total, U18 boys & girls, U15 boys & U13 boys events.
Things got off to a great with Isla Stott (St. Margaret's School) & Tessa Yau (Albyn School) taking the U18 Girls Gold Medal, becoming the Scottish Champions for 2018.
The girls were unfortunate in the singles event, both making it through to the semi-finals stage, and although managing to avoid each other at that point, perhaps looked to far ahead too early, and both went out in the semi-finals.
We also had high hopes in the U13 boys event, with Borui Chen (former Kingswells Primary) returning specially for the event. Borui was a member of the ASV TT Academy up until around 18 months ago, but work took his parents to Saudi Arabia where he is still currently living with his parents. We had high hopes for both Borui and Louis Loi (Turriff Academy), both of whom have made it to the semi-final stage in previous years. This year was no different, however it was unfortunate that the draw saw the boys meet each other in the semi-finals. After some excellent stuff from both, it was Borui who made it through to the final 3-0. Borui then took on Jamie Johnson from Ayrshire, and in a one-sided affair comfortably took the U13 Boys Scottish Champion Title, with another 3-0 victory.
Borui also played in the U15 boys event, and also made it through to the semi-final stage! He was joined by ASV TT Academy club mate Yifei Fang (Robert Gordon's School). Yifei had an excellent tournament, taking some great wins earlier in the day, particularly notable against Danny Bajwa from Dumfries, who is ranked in the top 4 U18 boys, and who Yifei has not defeated for a couple of seasons now, so things were very positive. In the semi-final Yifei came up against Charlie Morton from Glasgow, the No.2 seed for the event. Again playing some excellent stuff and fighting all the way to the end, Yifei took a fantastic 3-2 win to put himself through to the final. Unfortunately Borui did not make it on this occasion, and Yifei was up against No.1 seed and hot favourite Martin Johnson from Ayrshire.
After pushing Martin very close in the first couple of games of the final, Yifei found himself 0-2 down, and Martin went on to close the match out in the next game. However an excellent Scottish National U15 Boys Silver Medal for Yifei, and excellent hopes for next season on his performances across the event.
This set up the expected final between the top 2 seeds, and did not disappoint. Dylan took and early lead, before Calum hit back, and after some excellent attacking table-tennis from both boys, worthy of any senior event, the match was poised at 2-2.
Dylan got off to a bad start in the deciding game, and always found himself a couple points behind. Despite pulling things back to 9-10, it was Calum who took the final game and Dylan had to settle for the Scottish National U18 Boys Silver Medal.
The domestic season is almost complete, with the UK Senior Schools event taking place in Worcester at the end of June. ASV TT Academy will be represented with 5 players in various age group Scottish Teams at that event.