With 75 entries in this year’s Colchester & District Table Tennis Closed Tournament, it is shaping up to be one of the most competitive table tennis tournament Colchester has witnessed.
Number one seed in the Men’s Singles competition, Jake Collins (Gt Horkesley A), will be hoping to become the first player since David Cole 8 years ago to win three successful Men’s Singles titles. However, there will be a few players England’s number 113 will wish to avoid. Andy Warner (Tollgate A), seeded second, could provide stiff competition and will draw on past experience as an ex-champion to win the title once again. Collins currently has a playing average of 95.83% this season and has only lost one game out of twenty-four. The only player to beat him so far this season is Steve Kerns (Pegasus A) who won in four sets. This will be one player Collins will probably want to avoid. Last year’s runner-up, Rik James (Rowhedege B), lost to Collins in the final but will be seeking revenge to become champion again for the first time in 11 years. Reigning Junior Boy’s champion, Sam Hume (St James B), has the potential to cause an upset and there will be many players hoping to avoid a match against an almost certain future men’s champion.
Jane Li (Tollgate A) will also be trying to defend her Ladies’ Singles title for three years running. Sue Welham (Tollgate B), the most successful Ladies’ Singles winner with 22 titles, along with Gracie Edwards (Rowhedge E) and Annabelle Rodriguez (Tollgate C), could all pose a threat to Li’s title defence.
Nigel Hodder and Andy Warner (Tollgate) are aiming to defend their Men’s Doubles title, but may find things tough if they come across certain pairings on their route to a potential final. Jake Collins has a new partner in this year’s Men’s Doubles competition and will be relying on Paul Broxton (Gt Horkesley) to help him turn his runner’s-up trophy from last year into a winner’s one this year. Rik James and Gary Cattermole (Rowhedge) will also feel like they are in with a strong chance, as well as Colin Stallwood and Greg Green (Tollgate).
In the Ladies’ Doubles, Jane Li and Gracie Edwards (Tollgate & Rowhedge) will be planning to repeat last year’s success and are strong favourites to do so.
Colin Stallwood and Annabelle Rodriguez (Tollgate) will be hoping to defend their Mixed Doubles title. However, there are many other strong combinations that will be trying to stop them in their tracks.
Sam Hume is the overwhelming favourite to win the Junior Boy’s Singles. Hume could still face a tough challenge if he were to reach the final, not least by Lewis Bardell and Jared Chelski (Rowhedge H & Rowhedge I respectively). Olly Fifield (Gilberd B) is performing extremely well in Division Four and could provide an upset if he played the tournament of his life.
On paper, Jane Li is the hot favourite to win the Junior Girl’s Singles. Nevertheless, Gracie Edwards and Chloe Andrews (Rowhedge K) will be trying their best to steal Li’s crown.
There is a strong field in this year’s Cadet Singles competition. A variety of players from different clubs will battle it out to become the winner and upset favourite Gracie Edwards. Aron Jordan (Gt Horkesley F) and Andy Huang (Tollgate F) are a couple of players hoping to impress this Saturday.
The Division One Singles looks too tough to call. Unseeded Chris Brook (Rowhedge D) and Adam Cuthbert (Rowhedge F) are just two examples of how difficult it will probably be to win this competition, and all the other players will be hoping to avoid Brook and Cuthbert in their groups. In the Division Two Singles, Tom Elder (Tollgate D) is the favourite to win. A fellow team player, Roger Hance (Tollgate D), will be one of many challenging for the title. Four out of the five players competing in the Division Three Singles are juniors. John Colvin (Lawford C) is the only non-Rowhedge player in that particular competition. The Division Four Singles has a family feel about it; Ken Huang (Tollgate E) is the favourite, but could face strong competition from Leon Huang (Tollgate F) and Andy Huang.
Many of the strong contenders for the Veterans 50+ Singles title also feature in the Veterans 40+. Andy Warner is seeded number one in each, with Rik James seeded second. Last year’s Veterans 60+ winner, Ian Whiteside (Pegasus A), is the favourite again to reclaim his title.
Tom Lewis - CDTTL Press Officer