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

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Tournament Article

By Blake Cottrell

Jishan Liang Wins $3000 Newgy Ohio Open
This year’s $3000 Newgy Ohio Open, which took place at the Shaw Jewish Community Center in Akron, Ohio, on February 15-16, featured players from China, Oregon, Texas, Maryland, New York, and several other states along with our local Ohio players and players from the neighboring states of West Virginia, Michigan, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. This year’s tournament featured a record turnout over the two days and included a non-sanctioned recreational tournament. In all, about 160 players played at least one event. The tournament, sponsored in part by Presper Financial Architects, is a regular event for many of these players and has been directed for a number of years by Ohio’s number one player and local Akron native, Samson Dubina.

Jishan Liang, who has taken home first prize in several Akron tournaments in the past, came looking for another victory and cash prize. He did so in style by going undefeated in his eight player group and then sweeping through the single elimination bracket to take home the $1000 first prize. Jishan defeated Yimiao Wang, in the final, 3-0. Jishan lost only two games on his road to victory. It was a dominant performance! Yimiao is visiting the US from China via Maryland, where she is coaching Tiffany Ke, a thirteen-year old highly ranked junior girl. Yimiao upset Samson Dubina in group play and former three time US national team player Yahao Zhang, 3-2, in the semi-finals. Jishan defeated Samson in his semi-final by 3-1. The third place playoff had Yahao beating Samson 3-2. Jishan seemed very happy with his championship. His strong forehand and consistency make it very difficult on his opponents. He vows to return next time!

On the previous night, most of the same players played in the Under 2600 rated event. Only Jishan Liang was rated in excess of 2600 and was, therefore, ineligible to play this event. Yahao Zhang came away with a victory in this event, which was a ten person round robin. Yahao went 9-0 to capture the victory. Yimiao Wang finished second and in a big upset, Tiffany Ke finished third by virtue of beating Samson Dubina, who wound up fourth.Local prodigy, twelve-year old Sarah Jalli won the Under 2300 event. Sarah is played one of her first events since capturing the 11 and Under girls championship at the US Open in Las Vegas last December. She is coached by Samson Dubina and is looking for big things in the coming years.

The tournament consisted of fifteen events each with a rating cap, except for the Open division, which was open to all players. Ohio players to win events included Ayran Mahajan from Solon, Joe Ciarrochi of Akron, double winner Jason Zhang of Hudson, double winner Samip Shah from Cleveland, Brian Dillon of Canton, and Param Oswal of Strongsville. Congratulations to all these players for making Northeast Ohio look good!
West Virginia was well represented in the tournament and got wins in Jonathan Lamp, Jay Nelson, and Zachary Smith in the Under 2000, Under 1700 and Under 1000 events, respectively. University of Michigan player Yat To Yeung rounded out the winners by winning the Under 1950 event on Saturday evening. Congratulations to all these players and thanks for coming to the tournament. We hope to see you again.
Along with the USATT sanctioned event, another non-sanctioned Fun Ping Pong Tournament was conducted and sponsored specifically by Presper Financial Architect. This event was only for players that had never participated in a USATT sanctioned event before. The Fun tournament brought out thirty players in groups of five to battle it out for the $100 first prize. Included in the roster of players was Tom Presper and Owen Presper. This event was a huge success and all the players in it seemed to genuinely have a lot of fun. With two players advancing from each group after round robin play, twelve made it to the single elimination bracket. After hard fought play, in the end, Sanjeev Suram of Canton defeated Jason Looman of Akron to take home first prize.
Finally, we would like to send out a huge THANK YOU to our tournament sponsors who brought this event to Akron and have helped us promote this event during the last couple months. Thank you to
Presper Financial Architects, Sports Alliance of Greater Akron, Wil-Cut Engineered Abrasive Solutions, Paddle Palace, Newgy Robo-Pong, Shaw JCC, and Samson Dubina Table Tennis Academy.

Presper Financial Architects (Tournament Sponsor)
No matter where you are in life, we can help you build a financial plan that’s customized for you. Our blueprinting process will help you focus on life’s special moments, not just on your investments. Life’s next big adventure is closer than you think. Are you ready for more? Plan. Build Retire.

Wil-Cut Engineered Abrasive Solutions (Tournament Sponsor)
Since 1963, Wil-Cut Company has been supplying industry engineered abrasive products, metal working fluids, and professional support to optimize their performance. Our team of abrasive applications specialists have the experience and knowledge to quickly evaluate your processes and put your company on the path to greater grinding efficiency.

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