Li throws down gauntlet to Bay rivals
Port Elizabeth’s Li Xiuyan is looking to carry over the good form that saw her take four medals in a recent national tournament when she competes in the Nelson Mandela Bay Open table tennis championships this weekend.
Fresh from gaining three gold medals and a silver at the South African veterans’ championships last week, Li said she was ready for all comers at the event at the Malabar Community Centre on Saturday.
Playing for Callies Table Tennis Club, Li was happy with her performance at the championships in Potchefstroom, which saw her go up against SA’s best veteran players.
The championships, which were contested in a knockout format, saw Li deliver gold medal-winning performances in the 50+ women’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles divisions.
She claimed silver in the 40+ women’s singles.
“I was very relaxed going into each of the finals I played,” she said.
“The atmosphere was very pleasant and I think that played a big part in my success.
“Others around me were very friendly and supportive, which really helped me relax and motivated me to do my best,” she said.
Li said she had put in a lot of training prior to the event, playing in tournaments and ensuring she was at her best at competition time.
She took part in the Callies Open in August, taking the women’s singles and mixed doubles titles.
“The regular practice with my Callies teammates, especially the last session on Monday before departing, also helped to keep me motivated for success,” she said.
Callies president Jay Bhoola said they were proud of Li’s achievements and fully supported her playing in other tournaments.
Of Saturday’s event, Bhoola said the competition was open to all players registered to a federation affiliated to the SA Table Tennis Board.
“Most of the players from the seven [Bay] clubs will compete at the tournament, roughly 70 players, with many juniors also [taking part],” he said.