The 7th London Community Ranking Tournament, and the first of the Satellite events, proved a huge success at the Chelsea Academy last Friday. With a packed hall of twenty tables and three bands to choose from, the participants, all 75 of them, showed that satellite tournaments are the perfect companion to the full all-day ranking events. We suspected that a 5pm start on a workday would not suit everyone, particularly those still working at that time, but there were more than enough local competitors to make up for those that simply couldn't make it.
There were large contingents from Ashburnham, Barnes and Fox Primary schools, as well as well as strong turn-outs from the Richmond Park Academy and host school, Chelsea Academy. It was also a successful day for sibling pairs. The Cann brothers, Brandon and Ethan from Chelsea Academy, both made it to the knockout stage of Band 3, with Brandon going all the way to the semi-finals only to be knocked out by Sandeep Shetty, the eventual Band 3 winner.
Samuel and Emily Cheung also proved a formidable family duo, with Emily making it to the Band 5 final only to be finally overcome by a highly talented Triston Madayag, one of many talented youngsters from Fox Primary. (Coach Natacha Moura can claim much credit for that.) And Emily's brother, Samuel, went all the way to take the top spot in Band 6.
Still more success for young table tennis siblings came from Ellis and Archie from the William Hogarth school. Both brothers performed strongly in the group stage, with Year 4 Archie winning all his matches and succumbing only to Samuel Cheung, the eventual winner, in the quarter finals.
The atmosphere at the tournament was a wonderful blend of warm camaraderie and fierce competitiveness. This is precisely the balance that has been on show at all of the London Ranking Tournaments. The next tournament returns to the superb Greenhouse Centre in Marylebone on the Sunday, 5th May. Online booking is already open so if you wish to play we suggest you get in early as the last four tournaments have been complete sell-outs. Best Regards to all. Jon K