2012 JOOLA North American Teams Championships – Celebrating 15 Years in Baltimore!
NATT’s North American Teams Championships celebrated 15 years of operation and competition at the Baltimore Convention this past Thanksgiving weekend! With 644 registered players on just under 160 teams, this year’s four-star event used 120 JOOLA competition tables with more spacious courts than in previous years and brand new lighting throughout the entire playing hall!
At registration, players were greeted with commemorative gifts and souvenirs to kick off the event, but for 16 special people, NATT wanted to go a step further and express their sincerest gratitude for supporting their Teams event for last 15 years:
The following dedicated players were honored right before the finals on Sunday afternoon:
- Barry Dattel
- Paul David
- William Ma
- Raymond C. Mack
- Yu Shao
- Henry McCoullum
- Jim Mossberg
- John Mark Wetzler
- Reginald Willis
- Janet Ma
- Robert E. Hodgson
- Wayne Ming Chin
- Lixin Lang
- Richard Bowling
- Tahl Leibovitz
- Nazruddin Asgarali
Teams were grouped based on ratings and had an opportunity to move up a division or two during the first day. This year, the teams were divided into a total of nine divisions in addition to an Elite Division. There were plenty of exciting matches to watch, but the finals of the top division came down to Team JOOLA and Atlanta TT Academy 1, both of which were stacked with high-level players from various countries such as Argentina, Austria, Canada, China, Germany, and the US. Between the two teams, there were several Olympians, multiple National Team members, and even a former World Champion. In the end, it was Atlanta TT Academy that prevailed three-games-to-one, but the matches were definitely nail biters with two of Atlanta TT Academy 1’s winning matches hitting deuce in fifth game.
A quick overview of the top two teams:
Joerg Rosskopf, Chen Weixing, Liu Song, Daniel Habesohn
A powerhouse of international superstars, Team JOOLA was armed with National Team Members from two continents! Defensive specialist Liu Song of Argentina (WR#123) returned this year after winning the Men’s Singles title at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico last year with fellow chopper Chen Weixing of Austria (WR#29), who holds multiple European titles and was formerly ranked in the Top 10 in the world . Daniel Habesohn (WR#72) also hails from Austria and won the European Championships Doubles title just last month! Lastly but certainly not least, former World Champion and five-time Olympian Joerg Rosskopf of Germany, who currently serves as Germany’s National Team Coach joined Team JOOLA as both player and coach .
Atlanta Table Tennis Academy 1
Wang Zhen, Liu Jikang, Li Kewei, Timothy Wang, Feng Yijun
A combination of National Team members from the US, Canada, and China, this team was already expected to be a top contender this year. Timothy Wang is a 2012 US Olympic Team member and 2010 US Men’s Champion, while Zhen (Eugene) Wang of Canada is a 2012 Canadian Olympic Team member and the 2012 US Open Champion . JiKang Liu is a current Chinese National Team member and Kewei Li is a chopper and former Chinese National Team member . Originally from China, Yijun (Tom) Feng, is currently training in Atlanta, Georgia .
King Pong – Queens, representing King Pong Soho (a JOOLA-sponsored club in NYC), was the top women’s team at the event and placed in the Top 8 of the Elite Division.
King Pong – Queens
Yue (Jennifer) Wu, Dora Kurimay, Hiroka (Vivian) Ooka, XinYue Wang, Annie Guo
Based in New York City, this team comes from a diverse background of table tennis success stories. Yue (Jennifer) Wu is a former Chinese National Team member from Beijing and a 2016 US Olympic Team hopeful. Originally from Hungary, Dora Kurimay, is former Hungarian National Team member and junior champion who defeated the reigning US Men’s National Champion at the US Open earlier this year! Hiroka (Vivian) Ooka is a former Japanese National Team member, but before that she was China’s Junior National Champion at just 16 years old. Another top player from the Big Apple, XinYue (Taylor) Wang currently coaches at the largest table tennis club in NYC and her student Annie Guo, was a 2011 US Junior National Team member.
Lastly, we’d like to highlight some new members of Team JOOLA – Adar, Sharon, and Gal Alguetti! Don’t let their cuteness fool you! They played incredibly well and shut out all of the competition in Division 4 to take first place!
For more results, please visit www.natabletennis.com!
We hope you enjoy the photos and videos on our Facebook page! Thank you to everyone who made this event possible – especially the Baltimore Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Hotel for 15 amazing years.
We are sad to leave Baltimore, but we look forward to seeing everyone at our new location in National Harbor next year. Learn more about next year’s event at www.joolateams.com.
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