Coach Samson Dubina US National Team Coach 4x USATT Coach of the Year

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Tournament Article

By Blake Cottrell

Zi Rui Zhao Wins the $3000 Newgy Ohio Open
Players came from several states and Canada looking to take home prizes in the $3000 Newgy Ohio Open.  However, it was fifteen year old Zi Rui Zhao who came to Akron, Ohio looking to take the $1,000 first prize home as a reward for his travel from New Jersey.  He had a rough road to take as he lost two matches in his round robin group of eight.  With six players rated 2480 or higher, it was always going to be a tough tournament.  Zhao came into the tournament rated 2685 and lost to the 2480 rated Samson Dubina, at his home court in Akron, and Yichi Zhang, rated 2545, from Mississippi College, in the group.  With four players advancing to single elimination, Zhao finished third in the group.  Dubina finished first in the group with a record of seven wins and no losses after tough 3-2 wins against both Zhao and Zhang.  Finishing fourth was Lester Lee of the University of Michigan.
Cheng Li, rated 2551, of Mississippi College won the second group with a record of seven wins and no losses.  Finishing second was Antoine Bernadet, rated 2527, of Quebec, Canada.  Roger Liu and Sid Khandelwal, both of the Akron, Ohio area finished third and fourth, respectively.  Rajat Hubli of Michigan, rated 2534, was an unfortunate default in the group after a tough Under 2600 event the previous night.
Bernadet drew the unenviable task of playing Zhao in the quarterfinals.  Zhao won in three straight games using his athleticism to overcome Bernadet’s powerful strokes.  Next for Zhao was local favorite Dubina.  Zhao wound up winning a tightly contested match 3-1 avenging his earlier loss.  Lastly, Zhao dominated Zhang in the final, a default winner over Cheng Li in the semifinal.  The final was 3-0, with Zhang scoring only eleven points in the three games combined.  Zhao, again, avenged an earlier loss.  Congratulations to Zi Rui Zhao, the champion!
On Friday night, the Under 2600 event was played with Samson Dubina taking home first prize.  Samson was at the top of his game with wins over Cheng Li, Antoine Bernadet, and Yichi Zhang.  His only loss came at the hands of Rajat Hubli, whom he had also lost to a week earlier at the DAC Open in Michigan.  Li was second in the event, with Bernadet and Zhang finishing third and fourth, respectively.
Alex Averin of Mentor, Ohio scored a big win over Seth Pech of Strongsville, Ohio in the Under 2400 final.   Averin won 3-0.  Other winners included Niranjan Kamat of Columbus, Ohio in the Under 2200, Aydin Aykanat of Hudson, Ohio in the Under 2000, and Vadim Korneev, of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, who beat fellow Canadian Oleg Frolov of Toronto, in the Under 1900 event.
In our Under 1000 event, we allowed recreational players to sign up until close to the 5pm deadline in order to be able to test their skills against more seasoned, trained players.  However, Juan Santiago of Youngstown, Ohio, who came in with a 935 rating and has played in several tournaments over the last three years, came away with the first place trophy.  Jay Oswal of Strongsville, Ohio finished second.
Overall, there were 535 matches played by 89 players.  That’s an average of over twelve matches per player.  Fitness really helped in this tournament!
We would like to thank all the players that participated in the tournament and our sponsors including the Akron / Summit Visitors Convention Bureau, the Sports Alliance of Greater Akron, Wil-Cut Engineered Abrasive Solutions, Newgy Robo-Pong, Paddle Palace, and the Samson Dubina Table Tennis Academy.  Our next tournament looks like it will be Labor Day weekend.  We hope to see you there!
More Classes, Clinics and League nights presented by the Samson Dubina Table Tennis Academy:
Thursday Night League at the JCC (June 2  - July ):
Tuesday Night Junior Classes (May 31 - July):
Tuesday Night Teen / Adult Classes (May 31 - July ):
Table Tennis Strokes Clinic (June 17,18):
Table Tennis Tactics Clinic (June 24,25):