In his last year as a junior, Whitehorse’s Ryan Bachli has no more Yukon Table Tennis Championship titles left to win.
The 18-year-old not only defended his junior title and doubles titles – with partner and coach Kevin Murphy – over the weekend, he also won the men’s open singles and the team event, with Ehsan Idrees, at the Yukon Table Tennis Championships Saturday and Sunday at Whitehorse Elementary School.
Bachli took the singles title with an extremely close 7-11, 11-9, 11-6, 12-14, 12-10, 13-15, 12-10 win in the finals over Murphy, the defending champion.
“I guess training gave me an edge – and I guess his age slowed him down a bit,” said Bachli of his opponent/coach, who’s more than 30 years his senior. “It’s the first time I’ve beaten Kevin in the Yukon championships.”
Murphy managed to stay in the final, erasing three match points in the sixth set in the best-of-seven showdown. However, in the deciding seventh set it was Bachli’s turn to narrowly avoid the loss, eliminating three match points for Murphy.
“The gym was absolutely silent – almost too silent,” said organizer Dave Stockdale. “I told everyone to breathe at one point.”
Bachli and Murphy defended their doubles title with an 11-5, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9 win over finalists Ken Madsen and Malkolm Boothroyd.
Taking the women’s singles title was Christiane Nie, regaining the title after winning the championship in 2008. Nie finished the round-robin draw with a 3-1 record, tying defending champ Edna Knight. However, having defeated Knight in their match, Nie was crowded champion.
“I was pregnant and had to be with my kids (the last couple years), but I thought it was time I came back,” said Nie. “I was surprised that I beat Edna because she’s very good.
“We need more girls,” she added, speaking of the women’s draw. “My daughter is already six, so maybe I’ll bring her to the table tennis next year.”
The championships had the largest turnout in the event’s history with 33 participants, including 16 competitors in the open men’s singles and three players down from Dawson City.
“It certainly rivals anything we had at the Yukon Championships before,” said Stockdale. “If you look at all the categories, we had a healthy competition in every one.”
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org