Ontario’s Yen-Chun Lu Wins Gold Medal for Table Tennis Boys’ Singles

It was a battle of the top 2 seeds.  Ontario’s Yen-Chun Lu and Zexuan Wang have already won the gold medal in the team event and boys’ double.  Now, they will square off against each other in the gold medal match for boys’ singles.

Zexuan starts the match off strong by building leads of 3-1 and 6-2.  Yen-Chun is not able to make up ground during the game as Zexuan wins game 1, 11-4.  Now, its Yen-Chun strong play to take leads of 4-1 and 8-2.  The 8-2 lead is too big for Zexuan to overcome and Yen-Chun wins 11-6 in game 2.  With the match tied 1-1 and the gold medal awaiting the winner, the intensity goes up a couple notches.

Game 3 starts and Yen-Chun starts out up 3-0.  Zexuan fights back and takes a 9-6 lead.  Yen-Chun wins the next 2 points to make it 9-8 for Zexuan.  With Zexuan feeling the pressure, he takes a time out.  It proves to be a good move as Zexuan is able to win the game 11-9 and take a 2-1 game lead in the match.

Zexuan takes a 6-1 lead in the 4th game and it looks like he is well on his way to the gold medal.  Yen-Chun, the one that shows more outward intensity, wins 7 out of the next 8 points to take a 8-7 lead.  Zexuan wins the next point to tie it at 8 but Yen-Chun wins the next 3 points to win 11-8 in game 4.  The match is now tied 2-2 and it is all down to one game and the winner takes the well earned gold medal.  At this point, the crowd is well aware that these 2 athletes are as evenly matched as the score shows.

In the final game, Yen-Chun builds a 8-4 lead.  Zexuan has the next 2 serves and Yen-Chun is unable to return either of them.  Zexuan wins the next point when his last shot touches the net and Yen-Chun is unable to make the adjustment to return it.  The score now is 8-7.  Five points later, the match ends with a score of 11-8 and Yen-Chun, the top see, wins the gold medal in the 5th and deciding set.

In the end, the large and appreciative crowd got their monies worth out of the match and Yen-Chun Lu got his third gold medal of the 2011 Halifax Canada Games.

Teammates from British Columbia played for the bronze medal match in boys’ singles.  They were Adrian Lee and Jeremy Lau.  Similar to the gold medal match, the bronze medal match went to the 5th and deciding set to determine the winner.  Adrian took control the match by winning the first 2 games with scores of 11-7 and 11-9.  Jeremy was able to level the match at 2 by winning the next 2 games 14-12 and 11-8.  In the 5th game, Adrian Lee was able to win 11-5 and win the bronze medal.

Shirley Fu wins Gold Medal in Table Tennis Girls’ Singles

The gold medal final for girls’ singles was a matchup of the top seed from British Columbia, Shirley Fu against the giant killer from Quebec, Annie Coulombe.  Annie has beaten the 2nd and 3rd seeds in the quarters and semi’s respectively to be a surprise finalist.

Shirley took control of the first game by going up 5-1 early and taking game 1 by a score of 11-4.  In the second, it was Annie’s turn to go up 5-1 but, unlike Shirley, was not able to hold the lead and lost 11-7. Annie showed she was a fighter in the 3rd game digging balls far away from the table and not giving Shirley any easy points.  Annie was up 10-6 but Fu saved 3 game points to make it 10-9.  Annie was able to win the next point and extend the match to the 4th game with a 11-9 victory in game 3.  Shirley’s experience proved to be too much for Annie as she was able to win the 4th game 11-1 and take home the gold for British Columbia. 

Fu said she was “excited, I feel so accomplished now” when asked about her performance at the 2011 Halifax Canada Games where she won 3 medals including 2 gold medals.

Annie, the 14 year old from Quebec and the 11th seed to start the tournament had nothing to hang her head about as she showed great fight, potential and also had 2 of the biggest upsets of the tournament.

The bronze medal match between Alberta’s Roxana Pao and Jiawei Liu from Ontario was an exciting one.  Pao came back from being down 2 games to 1 to win the last 2 games by scores of 11-4 and 11-8 to score a 3-2 victory and win the bronze medal for Alberta.

Ontario Wins Gold Medal in Mixed Doubles Table Tennis

Ontario’s James Pintea and Hollie Lau played Roxana Pao and Calvin Chong from Alberta for the gold medal in mixed doubles.

Alberta was able to win game 1 by a score of 11-9 on its 4th game point after being up 10-6.  Ontario rebounded to win game 2, 11-6 to even the match at 1 game apiece.  The key point in game 3 was taking a timeout at 10-8 after losing 2 game points.  Even though Ontario lost the next point to make it 10-9, they were able to win the next point and win 11-9 to move 2 games to 1 up.  The 4th game was another tight one but Ontario was able to win it 11-9 and take the gold medal.

When asked what were your first thought after winning the last point, James Pintea said “we get a gold medal”.  James added “we have to be strong mentally to win a match like this” when questioned about playing a strong team such Alberta.

In the bronze medal match, British Columbia’s Mike Yue and Teri Zhou came from 2 games to 1 down against Quebec’s Mathieu Theriault and Li Quan Ly to win 3 to 2.  The scores of the games were 7-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-8 and 11-6 to give BC the bronze medal.

Ontario Dominates British Columbia in Boys’ Doubles Gold Medal Table Tennis Match

In the boys’ doubles gold medal match, the top seeded team from Ontario – Yen-Chun Lu and Zexuan Wang – took on British Columbia’s Jeremy Lau and Adrian Lee.

The very strong Ontario team got out to a fast start to take a 6-0 lead.  BC fought back valiantly but Ontario was able to secure the first game of the match 11-8.  Ontario then dominated the next 2 games and defeated BC by scores of 11-2 and 11-1 to claim the gold medal.  British Columbia wins the silver.

After the match, Yen-Chun and Zexuan talked about their upcoming gold medal match in boys’ singles.  “It’s always 50-50, whoever plays better that day wins” said Yen-Chu.

In the bronze medal match, it was a hard fought battle between Quebec’s Vincent Rousseau-Emond and Michael Siemaszko and Manitoba duo of Tian-Terry Zhang and William Lu.  Quebec pulled out a close 3 games to 2 win over Manitoba to claim the bronze with scores of 11-13, 11-7, 11-5, 5-11 and 11-7.  Quebec gets a little bit of revenge on Manitoba after losing to them in the team event.

British Columbia Win Girls’ Doubles Gold Medal in Table Tennis

In the girls’ doubles gold match, the showdown was between Alberta’s team of Yubo Zhang and Jasmine Yao and British Columbia’s Shirley Fu and Michelle Liaw.

In the first game, BC got off to a quick 5-1 lead and was able to continue that pace for a 11-4 win.  In the second game, Alberta was down 10-8 but was able to save 2 games points to tie it up at 10 apiece.   Alberta then scored the next 2 points to take the game 13-11 and even the match at 1 game apiece.  In the third game, it was BC turn to save 2 games points at 10-9 and 11-10 and win the last 3 points to pull out a 13-11 win to go up 2 games to 1.  BC got off to a fast start in game 4 to take a 6-3 lead.  Alberta took a time out to slow the pace.  When play resumed, BC took a 10-6 lead.  Alberta was able to save 3 gold medal match points to make the score 10-9.  On the 4th match point, BC won the point to take game 11-9 and claim the match 3 games to 1 and take home the gold.  Alberta won silver.

Shirley Fu and Michelle Liaw said of the win “we were really excited, we just hugged each other”.  Alberta Coach Li said the BC girls “were just a little bit better than our girls.  Our girls played well though”.

In the Bronze medal match, the Quebec team of Annie Coulombe and Catherin Dauplaise played Ontario’s Shannon Zheng and Jiawei Liu.

It was a back and forth match as Quebec won the first game 11-8.  Ontario won the next 2 close games 11-8 and 14-12 to take a 2 games to 1 lead.  Quebec leveled the match at 2 games apiece by winning game 4 with a score of 11-6.  Ontario then won the bronze medal by winning the 5th and decisive game 11-6 to win the match 3 games to 2.

Match of the Week for Table Tennis

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

Two Ontario Boys to Meet in the Gold Medal Final in Table Tennis

Both semi-finals started with an Ontario – British Columbia match.  In the end, teammates from Ontario will play for the Gold and teammates from British Columbia will compete for the Bronze medal.

In the first match, British Columbia’s Adrian Lee played Yen-Chun Lu, the top seed from Ontario.  The first game was played at a fast and furious pace.  Adrian was leading 4-2 and 6-4 before Yen-Chen won the next 7 points to win 11-7.  In the second game, Lu continued his strong play to take a 10-5 lead.  Lee then won 3 points in a row to make the score 10-8.  Ontario used a strategic time out to slow pace.  It worked as Lu won the next point to win the game 11-8.  The third game was tied at 5 until Lu won 4 points in a row to take a 9-5 lead.  Lu was then able to close out the match by winning the third game 11-7.

In the second semi-final, Jeremy Lau from British Columbia played the second seed from Ontario, Zexuan Wang.  In the first game, Wang took control early going up 5-0.  Lau was not able to match Wang for the rest of game and lost 11-3.  Again, in the second game, Wang got out to an early lead 7-3 and won the game 11-7.  In the third game, Lau and Wang were tied at 6 but Wang was able to close out the game and the match by winning the last 5 points with a 11-6 score.

Teammates Yen-Chun Lu and Zexuan Wang from Ontario will play for the Gold medal while British Columbia’s Jeremy Lau and Adrian Lee will play for the Bronze.  The Gold and Bronze medal matches will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 26th at Citadel High School.

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