The 3rd Aurora Cup was held on 3 bitterly cold days in January (15 – 17th) 2016.  Despite the frigid weather 303 players descended on the Vaughan Athletic Center to take part in what is now becoming an annual Aurora tradition.  The players competed in 24 events and played a total of 1419 matches – 105 more than a year earlier – thanks to addition of 4 hours of play on Friday evening.

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While the number of attendees was slightly smaller than last year – 303 vs 310 in 2015 – it was still the 4th largest tournament in the USA in the last 12 months.  The numbers of players shown below don’t include players who played only doubles matches, so if we exclude them, the 2016 Aurora Cup had 295 players. Below is the list of top 10 tournaments in the nation:

  1. 2015 US Open (972 players)
  2. 2015 US Nationals (735)
  3. 2015 JOOLA North American Championships (689)
  4. 2016 Aurora Cup (295)
  5. 2015 LA Open (291)
  6. 2015 Butterfly Thanksgiving Teams (260)
  7. 2015 Hyson Chicago International Table Tennis Tournament (251)
  8. 2015 Butterfly Badger Open (232)
  9. 2015 South Shore Butterfly Open (230)
  10. 2015 Arnold Table Tennis Challenge (227)

Vast majority of players came from the USA but there were also a couple from Mexico and Haiti.  The top 6 highest rated players were:

Kewei Li (2705) – winner of several prestigious US tournaments
Kai Zhang (2692) – Junior World Champion
Ruichao L Chen (2677) – 2015 Butterfly Aurora Cup winner
Samson David Dubina (2552) – Highest rated player from Ohio
Barney J. Reed (2524) – former U.S. National team member
Yadira Silva (2429) – from Mexico, who is vying for a spot on Mexican Olympic ladies team.

Attendees had an opportunity to witness a world class level match between eventual winner of Open Singles Ruichao L. Chen and Kai Zhang.

The players came from the following states:

IL 161 54.76%
OH 22 7.48%
WI 20 6.80%
IN 15 5.10%
MO 12 4.08%
MI 11 3.74%
CA 9 3.06%
TX 8 2.72%
MN 7 2.38%
IA 4 1.36%
KS 3 1.02%
FL 3 1.02%
Mexico, Brazil 3 1.02%
GA 3 1.02%
PA 3 1.02%
NY 2 0.68%
TN 2 0.68%
AR 1 0.34%
MD 1 0.34%
AL 1 0.34%
ON, Canada 1 0.34%
MS 1 0.34%
KY 1 0.34%

Credits

The tournament would not be possible without the help of the following individuals during setup, take down and at the tournament:

John, Jim, Benjamin and Rebecca Brandt who measured and marked all 38 courts and helped with installing ropes for sun screen.

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Steve Logquist, George Vaughan, James Madrid who unloaded the tables, barriers and other smaller equipment from the truck and loaded it back up.  They also moved tables and barriers before and after the tournament.

Sixing Zheng, Zachary Moy, Zita Bayr, Tom McCormack, Adam Koziel, Michael Curry, Tim Szot, Josh Szot all helped on Friday with setup of tables, nets and assembly of 450 barriers, hanging the lights over court 1 and 2.

Tom McCormack, Tom Szacilowski, Eryk Emilianowicz – help with take down and disassembly of barriers.

Josh Szot , Matthew Lorenc – disassembly and packing of barriers and other smaller equipment.

Control desk was expertly manned by Zachary Moy, Cecilia Navata, Andrew Moy and Anthony Miller despite constant crashes of our computer system.

Our officials were: Jacek Wisniewski (referee), umpires: Jorge Vanegas, Andrew Moy, Leo Kai.

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From left to right: Leo Kai, Andrew Moy, Jorge Vanegas, Jacek Wisniewski, Zachary Moy, Swavek Lorenc

Part of the operation was a new experience for all of us since in the past two tournaments our sponsor handled setup and take down of table tennis equipment.  Unloading from truck took about 1.5 hours and loading it back up 2.5 hours.

Assembly of 450 barriers took 3 people 3 hours on Friday plus 5 hours of Saturday with the help of 5 people.

Hanging 2 lights over court 1 & 2 took 3 hours for 2-4 people.

Hanging black plastic sun screen took 1 person 2 evenings (about 5 hours) and take down 3 hours.

Corporate Sponsors

I would like to thank the following companies and organizations for sponsoring our tournament:

JOOLA USA was our equipment sponsor who provided us with 38 tables, 450+ barriers, umpire tables, score boards and the newest seamless plastic Flash balls.

Infogix Inc. an enterprise software company, which funded major portion of the nice crystal trophies and lent us 100 chairs which enhanced comfort for our participants.

Experior Transport which transported all table tennis equipment from California to Aurora and from Aurora to Maryland, on time and took great care of it.

Aurora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau – which provided us with a large Aurora Cup trophy awarded to winners in Open Singles and Women Singles events.

Results

The following were the top 4 finishers in each of the held events. Open Doubles was cancelled due to low interest.

Full Event results First Place Second Place Third Place Fourth Place
Under 3800 Doubles RR Sylwester Sobota / Piotr Soja Paul Victor Pashuku / Stanley Harn Bogdan Plugowski / Tomasz Godlewski Adil Dhanani / Faraz A Kasmani
Under 18 Youth Roger Liu Ali Khatami Bryan Wu Avery Chan
Over 50 RR Avishy Schmidt James Therriault Spenser Minh Lam Yueming Xiao
Under 1500 RR Steve Hersey Sebastian Hersey Dattatreya (Sri Adusumilli Miclael Rostankowski
Open Singles RR Ruichao L Chen Kai Zhang Kewei Li Dian Li
Under 1200 RR Sarvesh Rao Payam Zarehbin Tim O’Neil Arun Govindhan
Under 1900 RR Avery Chan Henry Polecki Marijo Letic Manikandan Nagarathnam
Under 1700 RR Choong Suk Lee Harold Moy Dattatreya (Sri Adusumilli Pawel Zych
Under 1400 RR Elise Hui Cheryl Lim Miclael Rostankowski Paul Krynski
Under 2000 RR Pawel Gluchowski Benjamin Hartwiger Fernando Itzkowich Narasimhan (Tig Ramakrishnan
Under 14 Youth Kaixin Jiang Kai Zarehbin Sid Naresh Zi Mo Wang
Under 2300 RR Avishy Schmidt Dian Li Austin Z. Preiss Bryan Wu
Under 800 RR Samuel You Alexander Cai Brian Coons Sangita Naresh
Under 1800 RR Manikandan Nagarathnam Christopher Hardin Lloyd Hansen John Brandt
Under 2600 RR Joseph Cochran Barney J. Reed Seth Pech Micaiah Skolnick
40 and Over Spenser Minh Lam Sylwester Sobota James Therriault John Hui
Under 2100 RR Kai Zarehbin Eugene U. Utsalo Ihor Falchuk Sid Naresh
Under 1600 RR Avery Chan Steve Hersey Dan Greene Sebastian Hersey
Under 2400 RR Seth Pech Gabriel Skolnick Micaiah Skolnick Alex Averin
Under 1750 RR Avery Chan Nandan Naresh Eryk Emilianowicz Scott Meredith
Under 2200 RR Kai Zarehbin Viktor Bedriichuk Spenser Minh Lam Haibin Huang
Under 1000 RR Kuba Zych Sarvesh Rao Brian Coons Hasina Rajabali
Women Singles RR Yadira Silva Tia Hsieh Mariya Bogoeva Denethi Wijegunawardana

Pictures

And here are the winners on the podium.  See event name under each picture.

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U2400
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U2600
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U1500
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Youth Under 14
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U3800 Doubles
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Youth Under 18
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U1400
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U800
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U2000
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U1600
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U2200
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U2300
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U1750
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U1200
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U1900
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Open Singles
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40 and Over
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U1000
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U1700
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Women Singles
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U1800
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50 and Over

I would like to thank everyone who participated in the tournament and invite you to the next edition in 2017. See you then.

Tournament Director
Swavek Lorenc

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