Kihikihi win grade
Kihikihi rebounded from a first up loss to become social grade champions at the inaugural Waikato Table Tennis Rural Tournament in Hamilton.
The team of Hannah Robertson, James Krippner and John Metcalfe drew their opening match against an invitational Hamilton team, losing narrowly on a countback, then strung together three straight wins to emerge overall winners of their grade at the Waikato Table Tennis Stadium.
Kihikihi also entered a team in the competitive grade.
Hyrum Sunnex, Ezra Heke and Mark Nikara went through the round-robin undefeated before being eliminated by their arch rivals from Manawaru Table Tennis Club, Armindeep Singh, Jatinder Singh and Shane Quigley.
Heke and Nikara both lost their opening singles matches, as well as their combined doubles against Manawaru.
Sunnex won his first two singles and his combined doubles with Nikara to keep Kihikihi in contention, trailing 5-3.
The heat went back on Sunnex who needed to win his final singles match against Armindeep Singh to keep the fight going, but lost in straight sets.
Manawaru ended up winning 8-3 after Heke and Nikara both lost their final singles matches.
There are currently seven rural table tennis clubs in the Waikato, Cambridge, Matamata, Manawaru, Raglan, Te Rahu, Te Rore and Kihikihi.
Currently the region’s strength is at the grassroots level within the rural clubs.
Newly appointed Midlands development officer Jessica Macaskill, who also coaches within Table Tennis New Zealand, has been working with the Waikato Table Tennis Association to look at ways to grow the sport and integrate with all the rural clubs in the Waikato areas. This tournament is seen as a pathway to kick-start this integration process.
Kihikihi has entered four teams at this week’s National Country Clubs Championships in Taupo.
New members are always welcome at Kihikihi Table Tennis Club.
Waikato table tennis social grade champions Kihikihi with their medals and certificates. From left: John Metcalfe, Hannah Robertson and James Krippner.