With the main powerhouse table tennis provinces usually being Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia, it was nice to see that the most thrilling match of the week at Citadel High was a boys’ doubles match between Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan. The doubles team from Newfoundland and Labrador was Nicholas Buckle and Robert Humber while Benjamin Che Chi and Kevin Song played for Saskatchewan in the match. The match score shows a 3-2 upset victory for the team from Newfoundland and Labrador but the individual game scores show how truly close this game really was. The first game went into overtime as Saskatchewan won 12-10. Newfoundland and Labrador bounced back to win the second game 11-9. Saskatchewan took a 2-1 lead with a 11-9 win in game 3. Newfoundland and Labrador, showing resilience, pulled out game 4 by a score of 11-9 to level the match at 2 games apiece.
This was an exciting match to this point but nothing compared to the 5th and final game. Newfoundland and Labrador was down 8-3 and tried to battle back as hard as they could. Saskatchewan had 2 match points at 10-8, Newfoundland and Labrador tied it up 10-10. By this time, every match in the gym had finished so everyone’s eyes were on this match. 11-11, 12-12, 13-13, it has to end sometime. Then when the 118th point of the match was scored, Newfoundland and Labrador came out on top 19-17 in a wild and crazy 5th set.
Of course, the boys from the rock were excited. It just happened that NTV happened to arrive at the end of the match and was taping it when it ended. The reporter tried to interview the boys, and as Robert Humber says “we were speechless, we could say anything”. Everyone knows someone from Newfoundland and Newfoundland, so you should know it’s not very often a Newfoundlander has nothing to say. Afterwards when their voice returned, they said about being down 8-3 “ we just said come on, come on, just one point, just one point” and about the match itself “we were so nervous, the intensity was crazy”.
The boys spoke highly of the table tennis tournament at the 2011 Halifax Canada Games. Robert said “the best table tennis tournament I have ever been at” and Nicholas followed it up “I have played in this gym a couple times before but those events can’t match this event at the Canada Games”.
They are both proud to represent their province “it is great walking around and seeing the other Newfoundlanders in their outfits, everyone waving to each other, this is incredible.” Robert and Nicholas may not be going home with a medal but they will be taking many memories and knowing that they won the match of the week here at Citadel High.
To watch the live feed of table tennis at the 2011 Halifax Canada Games, go to http://canadagames.bellaliant.net/live.php?y=2011&m=02&d=24