John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News Noel Dela Cruz winds up for a return during a match at the 2019 Table Tennis Yukon Championships on May 5.

Table Tennis Yukon crowns 2019 champions

The 2019 Table Tennis Yukon Championships were May 3-5 at Whitehorse Elementary School in Whitehorse, bringing together approximately two dozen of the territory’s best table tennis players to compete in junior and open singles and doubles competition.

Kevin Murphy, president of Table Tennis Yukon, said this year’s event format made for a relaxed mood throughout the weekend.

“It went really well,” said Murphy. “There were no time pressures, things were quite easily done. We started at noon or 12:30 p.m. and we were done quite early.”

Turnout this year was close to last year, despite the absence of players from Dawson City.

“They weren’t there this year, which was a shame because the adult numbers were really up at the Whitehorse club,” said Murphy. “We still need more juniors, and Dawson was the (club) that had a good core of juniors the last couple of years.”

The championships started with open doubles on May 3 and moved onto junior competition May 4 before concluding with open competition on May 5.

This year’s turnout included a number of club “alumni” returning who have previously represented the Yukon at the Arctic Winter Games and Canada Winter Games teams.

“They were on the teams in 2007 and 2008, so to have them come back after a few years away — (for) schooling and other things — was really good,” said Murphy. “I think overall the level of play was really good, especially for the open men’s (division). With those alumni returning and a couple of the new players that were in town that had some very good playing ability, the level of play was really high.”

In the open men’s singles division, this year’s winner was Ryan Bachli who Murphy characterized as the top player in the club.

“Ryan was clearly the top notch player, but there were no easy matches by any means,” said Murphy. “It could have been anybody that made it to the final to play Ryan. It shows by the fact that two successive years we’ve had somebody else challenging him in the final.”

Challenging him in the final was Taras Yurkiv, who finished second. Daniel Li and Kevin Murphy tied for third.

In the women’s open division, junior Raghvi Sharma won with Xiu-Mei Zhang in second and Ming Huang in third.

Raghvi’s brother Krish Sharma was the junior boys singles winner and Jacob Tucker finished second.

Raghvi also won the junior girls division, defeating Huang who finished second.

In the open doubles division, Bachli and Li were the winners while Yurkiv and Murphy finished second.

Raghvi and Krish combined to win the junior doubles division and Tucker and Huang were second.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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