Rising Table Tennis Stars at US Junior Team Trials

(West Monroe, LA – March 27, 2024) The US Junior Team Trials – Part 1 kicked off on March 26th at the West Monroe Sports and Events Center in West Monroe, Louisiana, the same venue that hosted the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Table Tennis just last week. Over 165 young table tennis talents from across the country are competing to earn a spot on the prestigious National Junior Team, with events divided into five age categories for both boys and girls: U19, U17, U15, U13, and U11.

The opening day saw the start of the U19 and U13 competitions, featuring several notable participants. In the U19 category, established names like Nandan Naresh, Emily Tan, Kayla Goodwin, and Amber Liu, who recently represented the US at the 2024 World Team Championships in Busan, Korea, took to the tables.

“Age is just a number in the world of table tennis, hinting at her potential to become a future star for the US.”

While the U19 category saw no major upsets on the first day, the real story was the remarkable performance of 12-year-old Irene Yeoh. Yeoh not only progressed to the next stage in the U13 girls’ event but also secured a spot in the U19 girls’ Stage 2 competition. Amassing an impressive record of 12 wins and only 1 defeat on the opening day, Yeoh demonstrated that age is just a number in the world of table tennis, hinting at her potential to become a future star for the US.

Key Highlights:

  • Irene Yeoh’s exceptional performance in both U13 and U19 categories.
  • Zichun Shen’s unexpected victory over higher-rated opponents.
  • Kevin Hanna’s surprising upset in the U13 boys’ division.

In the U13 girls’ qualification stage, Zichun Shen, rated 1974, defied expectations by clinching the top spot in Group 3, overcoming the higher-rated Angela He, currently ranked at 2101. Meanwhile, in the U13 boys’ division, Kevin Hanna, the bottom seed of the round-robin, pulled off a stunning upset by defeating the top seed, Kyler Chen, rated 2366, and advancing to the next stage of the competition.

Enthusiasts can follow the latest updates and results from the US Junior Team Trials – Part 1 on OmniPong.com, with live streaming of four tables available on the USATT YouTube Channel.

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