Great results and effort from Kihikihi Table Tennis players Hyrum Sunnex, Johnny Ainsley and Scott Dunn who represented the rural club at the Waikato Table Tennis Open in Hamilton on Saturday. This is the last major tournament before the New Zealand Nationals 2016.
It was an extremely long day with Sunnex and Ainsley playing between 14-18 games throughout the day that started at 9am and not finishing until 8:30pm. Dunn who has joined the club this season was enjoying the experience of playing so many different levels and styles of players but unfortunately rolled his ankle midway through the tournament and had to withdraw from the remainder of the event.
Former Waikato Representative Hyrum Sunnex said “The quality of the players who travelled from around the North Island to attend this tournament was very high, and having not trained at all for this tournament, it was very difficult to transition from our local club level to this high level within one day, but the experience and enjoyment of playing these players was great.
The way grading is done in New Zealand Table Tennis is, anyone out of the Top 25 in New Zealand can play in B Grade, anyone out of the Top 50 can play in C Grade. So regardless of which grade you play in, there is still quality opposition.
One notable near upset of the day was in the B Grade 1/4 Finals with Sunnex against the more experienced Auckland Player and No.6 Seed Ben Jung. Ben had already beaten higher ranked players in the day, and on rankings, the game vs Sunnex should have been a walk over, but Sunnex hung in there and become more and more confident as the match went on, which fustrated Jung.
In the end, Jung beat Sunnex in the Final Set winning 11-7, 10-12, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9. In other results Johnny Ainsley and Hyrum Sunnex made the B Grade Doubles Semi-Finals losing to eventual winners Mark Page & James Harter. But this was not the end as Sunnex and Ainsley were also in the C Grade Doubles Final beating last weeks Winners from Tauranga Open Low Yau Yang & Jimmy Caunter in the Final.
Sunnex also made the C Grade Mens Final but lost to Jimmy Caunter, 11-7, 10-12, 7-11, 11-4, 9-11 and also lost in the Open Mens Plate Semi-Final. Overall it was a great day for the club with Ainsley and Sunnex enjoying the games and the challenge.