US Olympic Hopeful Leads Binghamton to Collegiate TT Championships
Binghamton features an Olympic Table Tennis hopeful for 2020, Kai Zhang. Binghamton University has never been to the National Championships and is poised to be one of the best teams yet! This may be their first time as a team at the College Table Tennis Championships but they are brimming with confidence in their first year.
Binghamton not only survived but dominated their division tournaments and came in 4th in the Regional Championships in Canada earning a wildcard into the Championships. Team leader Julio Almonte states, “We are very proud to see our school qualify for such an event, we believe that it is a great opportunity for all of our players to showcase their talents.”
Talents is a bit of an understatement perhaps as Kai Zhang and Akshay Gadikar are featured in Men’s doubles and will look to win also in the team event. Zhang is an Olympic hopeful and Gadikar an Indian international majoring in Computer Science.
Back home in Binghamton, New York, the club is very tight knit with many of their non playing club members glued to the live stream and championship website to see how their team is doing. This is their 2nd year as a competitive program within the Campus Recreation Sport club program. Almonte says, “WE hope that our continuing success will impress our club’s goals and dedication.”
The College Table Tennis Championships is a different event from any other competition in North America in that all tables will have umpires and scorekeepers, and rules that normally are not as strict will be this time. Almonte goes on to say, “Even though our players have played in some of the best facilities in the country, they haven’t played on tournament flooring with umpires throughout this school year (excluding individual tournaments they have participated in). That being said, I’m sure these facilities will live right up to their expectations.”
Binghamton is seeded #16 out of 24 Men’s/Coed teams and while that isn’t the highest seeding, they shouldn’t be trifled with by some of the other school teams. Almonte states, “It is hard to predict where we will place as a team, as this is the first time we are sending out a full team to nationals. We recognize that the level of play will be much greater in regards to the divisional and regional tournaments, and we have been training in preparation for the tournament.” This is why we play because on any given day in Sports, anything can happen.
Tune in April 20-22nd to the 2018 iSET College Table Tennis Championships!
The 2018 iSET College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Round Rock CVB and is one of the premier table tennis tournaments in North America featuring 6 events: Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles, and Men’s/Coed Teams, Women’s Teams. The event is sponsored by iSET, Double Happiness, Gerflor, Double Fish and USA Table Tennis
Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the iSET College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday April 20th and continues through Sunday April 22nd.
The National Collegiate Table Tennis Association (NCTTA) is a non-profit organization established exclusively for promoting the sport of table tennis at the college level. As the national governing body for college table tennis in the United States and Canada, NCTTA organizes intercollegiate competition throughout North America. www.nctta.org
About USA Table Tennis
Headquartered in Colorado Springs, USATT is the national organizing body for table tennis in the United States, serving 9,000+ members and nearly 300 clubs. USATT sanctions 200+ events a year including the US Open and US Nationals. USATT is affiliated with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), as well as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). www.usatt.org