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Ohlone Table Tennis Wins Regional Tournament

March 16, 2017

Staff Photo

Staff Photo

With two divisional team championships under their belt this year, the Ohlone Table Tennis team is continuing the pattern of success by competing in the 2017 West Regional Table Tennis Championship.

 On March 4 and 5, the table tennis team won the Women’s Team Championship and placed 2nd in the Co-Ed Team Event. The team has advanced to qualify for the National Table Tennis Final Competition on April 7 through April 9 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

 In a recent interview with the President of the club, Ying Wang expressed satisfaction with the accomplishments of the team in the past two years. “Our team has become stronger,” said Wang.

 The Table Tennis club was established in the fall of 2015, with Wang as president since its inception. The club is semester-round and competes about four or five times a year.

Just after one semester of practicing, the team made their presence known in the spring of last year at their very first competition. “After one semester, we won two divisional collegiate competitions and one regional competition, and then we advanced to the national table tennis collegiate championship,” said Wang.

At the National Table Tennis Collegiate Championship, Wang won 1st place in the Women’s Singles and the entire team placed 3rd.

The instant success in just one semester attracted student attention. “Initially, we only had five members,” said Wang. “After one semester with a couple of titles, we now have 20 to 30 members.”

When asked if the team was self-taught, Wang immediately acknowledged the one person who deserves the most credit. “We have a coach, who is also our club advisor and a professor here at Ohlone – Yong Gao. His coaching is very helpful.”

Yong Gao is a Computer Science professor at Ohlone. He has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Tsinghua University; a Master’s degree in Business Education, a Master’s degree in Computer Science, and a Ph.D. in Business Education at Southern Illinois University.

When asked about the goals for the program, Wang’s answer was obvious. “My goal for the program is to get more students involved in table tennis. We want to make table tennis more popular in this country – especially in college.”

To make her goal a reality, Wang and the table tennis team plan to bring a competition to Ohlone. “We plan to organize a table tennis tournament here at Ohlone on April 29, and invite all local table tennis clubs, players and college students to come to play,” said Wang.

Professor Gao did not hesitate when the same question was posed to him. “Our goal is to make nationals, and to try our best each and every day,” said Gao.

To learn more about Ohlone’s Table Tennis club, attend their meetings. The club meets once a week, every Friday from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. in the cafeteria

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