Hudson residents Aydin Aykanat, 42, and his daughter Janset Aykanat, 9, competed at the 2016 US Open Table Tennis Championship, which concluded Dec. 17 at the Las Vegas Convention Centre.
The largest table tennis tournament in North America, with more than 90 events for all levels and ages, attracted more than 800 players from more than 40 countries, including a bunch of world ranked international players such as Japan's Kenji Matsudaira, Slovakia's Thomas Keinath and former Chinese National team member Hou Yingchao.
Yijun Feng, a 2016 US Olympian and 16-year old US Olympian and current US National Champion Kanak Jha were among the domestic players also competed. China's Wang Wei won the 2016 US Open trophy with a 4-1 victory over Bob Chen from California. Adriana Diaz, 16, of Puerto Rico took down the women's singles' crown with a 4-2 win over Japan's Saki Tashira.
Janset, fourth grader from Eastwoods Elementary School, played in five events at the tournament, including two girls age events (age 9 and younger and 13 and younger) and three round-robin rating events (U100, U1200 and U1350).
Currently ranked in the top 10 for her age in the U.S., Janset qualified for the quarterfinals after a strong performance against Nishi Kumar from California with a match score of 3-0. She lost to eventual champion Sally Moyland of California.
Janset is being coached by Akrom resident Samson Dubina, who is currently one of the national coaches of the Team USA and one of the top ranked national player in US.
Similar to his daughter, Aydin also played in five events, including four round-robin rated events (U1950, U2000, U2100 and U2250) and age 40-and-older men's events. Among 177 players in the U1950 event, Aydin reached the semifinals by defeating Meng-yu Wang from Iowa in three straight games.
Aydin lost to Vince Mioduszewski of Seattle in fourth game with a deuce. Even though he could not advance to the U1950 championship game, Aydin was awarded a semifinalist medal and a USA Table Tennis certificate. In the U2000 tiered super giant robin event that featured 200 player, Aydin reached the round of 16. In the men's 40-and-older event, Aydin made the round of 16.
Aydin and Janset both successfully represented their affiliated clubs: Samson Dubina Table Tennis Academy and Twinsburg Table Tennis Club.