PRINCE GEORGE, B.C.
Yukon’s table tennis players weren’t vying for medals last week at the Canada Winter Games, but they recorded wins and had close losses, both of which makes them hungry for more, said head coach Kevin Murphy.
“All of the kids were involved in some very close games that they could have won, and some matches they know they could have won, which is great,” he said. “It makes them hungry to develop their game to the point where they win that match that they felt they were so close.
“Some of them, like Thomas (Brenner), were playing a better game of table tennis by the end of week than when he started. It was like worlds apart.”
Yukon’s team had the most success in the singles competition, producing wins over players from Newfoundland, P.E.I. and Nunavut.
Georgia Gaw defeated Newfoundland’s Hannah Pitt in three games. She and Yukon teammate Kelcy Armstrong both beat P.E.I.‘s Hafsa Abbasi in three.
However, Yukon’s Grace-Anne Janssen defeated both Gaw and Armstrong in relegation matches to place ahead of them in 29th out of 32 players.
“It was good to have a female presence because four years ago we did not,” said Murphy. “I hope in four years we can see N.W.T. out, because they weren’t there and neither was New Brunswick.”
Yukon’s Arcel Siosan topped Nunavut’s Silas Pijamini in three games to place 28th out of 33 players in male singles.
Siosan and Brenner also defeated Nunavut’s Christopher Eetuk-Kadlak and Pijamini in male doubles. Siosan posted another singles win the male team event, downing Eetuk-Kadlak in three games.
Yukon didn’t record any wins in the female doubles, mixed doubles, or female team event in Prince George.
Three of the Yukon players competed at the 2014 Arctic Winter Games, the rest were playing in their first Games experience, “and are relatively new to the sport too,” said Murphy. “It’s bigger than the Arctic Games too. It definitely a quantum leap for the rookies on the team…
“A lot of the kids, when they come out to these things, they are playing against kids and watching kids their own age, they will soak up things … they will pick things up literally by osmosis.”
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