Gaithersburg-trained table tennis players make national marks -- Gazette.Net






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A contingent of local players had a strong showing at this year’s U.S. Open Table Tennis Championship, held in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Gaithersburg-trained Wang Qing Liang, 17, reached the semifinals of the Men’s Singles tournaments — one of the premiere events at the U.S. Open — defeating two current Olympians including American Timothy Wang.

Liang is a native of China training at Gaithersburg’s Maryland Table Tennis Center.

Germantown’s Charlene Liu won the Over 50 Women and Over 60 Women’s tournament, beating out perennial contender and Cheverly-native Donna Sakai in both tournaments. Liu also made the finals for the Over 40 Women’s tournament.

Lilly Lin, 14, of Germantown won the Women’s Under 2100 Rating event. Nathan Hsu, 16, of Rockville represented Team USA, making it to the quarterfinal round of the Junior Boys Team event.

Crystal Wang, 10, of Boyds also representing Team USA won the Cadet Girls Doubles Championship. Fellow Boyds residents Chen Bo Wen, 14, made the Cadet Boys finals.

Larry Hodges of Germantown, a coach at the Maryland Table Tennis Center in Gaithersburg — where nine players reported strong showings in this year’s U.S. Open and USA Cadet & Junior Open, held together in Grand Rapids, train regularly — won the U.S. Open Hardbat Doubles competition, taking home that title for the 13th time.

The U.S. Open Table Tennis championship is one of the largest of its kind held annually, with $100,000 in prize money awarded this year.