New, past champs crowned at table tennis open

After losing in the finals the last two years, Whitehorse’s Kevin Murphy was back on top in men’s singles at the Yukon Table Tennis Championships over the weekend at Whitehorse Elementary School.

After losing in the finals the last two years, Whitehorse’s Kevin Murphy was back on top in men’s singles at the Yukon Table Tennis Championships over the weekend at Whitehorse Elementary School.

It’s a spot he’s quite familiar with. Sunday’s five-game win over two-time defending champ Ryan Bachli gave Murphy his 18th Yukon singles title.

“I wasn’t expecting to get it back, it really was a surprise,” said Murphy, who last year was playing with a strained abdominal muscle. “Last year I wasn’t 100 per cent healthy and this year I was in much better shape.”

Sunday was the fifth consecutive time the Murphy and Bachli squared off in the singles final.

The match looked to be heading towards lopsided victory for Murphy, capturing the first two games handily. But Bachli started to find his groove before, tying the match before losing 11-8, 11-4, 8-11, 13-11, 11-5.

“The last few months Ryan hasn’t been out to the club as much as he usually is,” said Murphy. “He’s a working man and sometimes his job interferes. So I knew his game wouldn’t be quite as sharp as it can be.

“(By the third game) his shots were starting the warm up and I knew that if I wanted to take it I’d have to bear down and get back into my Game 1 and 2 format.

“The difference between me and Ryan is that I’m more of a counter player – he takes the offensive lead. I wait for my openings and try to stretch him out around the table so he’s not in a comfortable position to make his patented big loops. I pushed wide on the table to increase the angle so it was tougher for him to come back and hit the table.”


Taras Yurkiv placed third with a four-game victory over Mehrnoush Mahdavi in the bronze match.

The women’s single division, which was not held last year, got a new champion. Xiu-Mei Zhang took the title with an 11-6, 11-13, 11-9, 13-11 win over 11-time champion Edna Knight.

It was Zhang’s first singles title at the Yukon championship.

“Each game was very, very close. Three games went to deuce,” said Zhang. “I’m excited. I’ve never won anything.

“More practice,” she added, when asked what made the difference this year. “In the past this was my hobby and I just come here to exercise. Each time I’d always lose… I started to do some psychology adjustment and I considered it a competition more for the first time.”

Myrna Bruns snagged third place with a straight-game win over top female junior player Grace Anne Janssen.

Taking the small junior boys division was Arctic Winter Games athlete Kyle Gonder, going undefeated for the title. Gonder, who also represented the Yukon at the 2011 Canada Winter Games, won a bronze in junior male doubles at the Arctic Games in March.

The rookie singles title went, fittingly, to a player competing in his first Yukon championships.

Jamie Phillips, 10, captured the title with an 11-5, 13-11, 11-7 win over finalist Eddy Gerberding in the final.

“I play at home with my dad and when I visit cousins in Toronto I usually play ping-pong,” said Phillips. “It was really fun. I thought there was going to be more people. I thought it was going to be really crowded.”

Finishing in third for rookies was Hassen Rajab with a win over Sana Syed, taking the match in five games.

Open doubles, which operated in a round-robin format, was so close with a three-way tie for first that counting games won and lost was not enough to determine a winner. Instead, organizers had to resort to counting points for and against.

After some addition and subtraction, Mark Preston and Mahdavi were given the title. In second were Bachli and Gonder, ahead of Murphy and Knight in third.

Other division winners include Bruns and Thomas Brenner in random doubles (in which partners are randomly assigned), Preston and Yurkiv in the Division A team event and Bruns and Greg Murdoch in the Division B team event.

Contact Tom Patrick at

Just Posted

Silver rules out HST, layoffs and royalty changes

Yukon’s financial advisory panel has released its final report

City of Whitehorse budgets $30M for infrastructure over four years

‘I think we’re concentrating on the most important things’

Yukon community liaison for MMIWG inquiry fired

Melissa Carlick, the Whitehorse-based community liaison officer for the national Missing and… Continue reading

Yukon man holds no grudge after being attacked by bison

‘The poor guy was only trying to fend off someone who he knew was trying to kill him’

Straight and true: the story of the Yukon colours

Michael Gates | History Hunter Last week, I participated in the 150th… Continue reading

Get ready to tumble: Whitehorse’s Polarettes to flip out at fundraiser

‘There’s a mandatory five-minute break at the end, just so people don’t fall over’

Alaska’s governor goes to China

There are very different rules for resource projects depending on which side of the border you’re on

Yukon survey shows broad support for legal pot

But there’s no consensus on retail and distribution models

Yukon government releases survey on the territory’s liquor laws

Changes could include allowing sale of booze in grocery stores

Get family consent before moving patients to other hospitals: NDP critic

‘Where is the respect and where is the dignity?’

Bill C-17 passes third reading in House of Commons

The bill, which will repeal controversial amendments made to YESAA by Bill S-6, will now go to Senate

White Pass and Yukon Route musical chugs on without director

The cast and crew of Stonecliff are pushing forward without Conrad Boyce, who went on medical leave

Most Read