With the eighth London Community Ranking tournament safely tucked away at the weekend, the organisers can report that over 650 Londoners have now taken part, and with each successive tournament, the numbers just keep on growing. The aim has been from the outset, to create a Top 1000 ranking list, and it seems that ambitious target is now a realistic possibility. With one more tournament planned for this first year of operation, numbers are likely to climb towards the 700 mark. At this rate of progress we could even hit the magic 1000 mark by the end of Year 2.
This latest tournament, held at the wonderful Greenhouse Sports Centre in Marylebone, just over 160 entries for the six bands battled away for honours. Band 1 & 2 had the usual array of high flying table tennis players, all of whom put on a wonderful display of table tennis that mesmerised both the youngsters from band 5&6 and their parents. Once again, Gabriel Achampong from the London Academy triumphed but not before Marcel Surdu from the Greenhouse Centre gave him a real run for his money in a thrilling final.
Band 2 also had its fair share of scintillating ping and the best was to be final itself, where Meteusz Mikocz got the better of London Ranking No 1 Zion Nailing- Boumpoutou in a five set thriller.
In the Band 6 contest it was all Greenhouse in the final stages, as the lads from Eastlea Community School gave the rest of the pack a lesson in attacking table tennis. But not only was their table tennis up to scratch, their excellent sporting behaviour was also a delight. So it's hats off to the Eastlea lads and a big well done to Fabian for taking the title.
The Eastlea squad were equally dominant in Band 5 but this time Fabian had to relinquish top spot to fellow Greenhouse star, Nizar Aajaouy, who not only took the Band 5 title but also reached the final of the Band 4 event in the morning. A fine day's work by Nizar and another great ambassador for the Greenhouse project.
The ninth and final tournament for the season will be at the London Academy in Edgware on Saturday 6th July. Online bookings will start shortly. Don't delay because the last five tournaments have all sold out well in advance.
As always, a big thank you to our sponsors, Top Spin Sports, and our usual; gratitude to all those that make these tournaments such a success; the players, the parents, the coaches and the organisers.
Best regards to all, Jon Kaufman