I just got back from Las Vegas, Nevada, where I went to watch the 2009 U.S. Table Tennis National Championships. My aunt and uncle from Hong Kong are here visiting, so they joined my parents and me, along with my grandfather from Northern California, on our short Friday-Sunday Las Vegas trip. We stayed at the Las Vegas Hilton, which is right by the Las Vegas Convention Center, where the nationals took place!
My dad and I went to watch the matches while my relatives and my mom did other things (oh, you know, slots, gamble, shopping, etc.). We saw some awesome matches. Gao Jun took the gold for women’s singles (no surprise there). Ariel Hsing (only 14 years old!) took the silver. Michael Landers (only 15 years old!) took the gold for men’s singles, and Samson Dubina took silver. There was a huge fiasco with the men’s quarterfinalists boycotting due to their dissatisfaction with the amount of prize money being given, which was apparently significantly less than that given in previous years. Nevertheless, the show must go on, and the 2 of the 8 who didn’t boycott (Landers and Dubina) played their final match.
Here’s a shot of one of the women’s singles semi-final matches: Gao Jun vs. Anne Deng (who is only 15 years old!). The other semi-final match was with Jasna Rather (formerly Jasna Reed) vs. Ariel Hsing.
During the nationals and the open, multiple table tennis equipment companies have booths to sell merchandise. Here are some little kids playing with a tiny table at the Joola booth.
Anyway, thanks to my dad’s amazing hook-ups, I got these babies for only $29 (retail $47.99)!
I’ve been in need of new table tennis shoes, and I’ve had my eye on these 808s for a while now. To top it off, they’re Cal/UC Berkeley colors!