Ping pong paradise

Posted: Sunday, January 05, 2003

Thirty-eight table tennis enthusiasts filled Marie Drake gym with the sounds of pinging and ponging Saturday at the Close Up Holiday Table Tennis Tournament.

Nine tables were spread across the gym floor, and the first-time event - one of few table tennis competitions in Juneau - drew many "secret" players who usually only play at home.

"What's neat is that you see a lot of people play that you didn't even know existed," participant Bob Janes said. "A lot of people just play in their garages."

Janes said he and many other AEL&P employees regularly play table tennis after work. Several of them entered Saturday's tourney.

The winner of the adult division was Stanley Zhang, who defeated Ken McLeod in a close three-set match. Tournament matches were held in a best-of-three format, with games going to 11 points.

While the adult division was coed, an informal women's championship match was held. Carin Wilson defeated Theresa Walden in two sets to win that title.

In a match of sibling rivals, Andrew Hart defeated older brother Ryan in two sets to claim the youth division crown.

Money raised from tournament entry fees will go toward the Juneau-Douglas High School Close Up program's annual trip to Washington, D.C., to teach students about American government.

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