The cast has been assembled, and the show will commence at 9am tomorrow. The usual suspects are appearing, along with a few new faces.
Welcome to the finals of the NZCT AIMS Games table tennis competition. First up, at 9am, is the Teams finals, with Pinehurst taking on Tauranga Intermediate in the boys final, and Otumoetai taking on Tauranga in the girls final. The bronze teams playoffs will comprise Otumoetai and Somerville in boys and Matamata and Te Puna in girls.
Today’s doubles event went largely to seedings, with some minor surprises. An all-star final of Sang Yong Park and Jiayi Zhou from Cobham versus Mikey Malik and Grace Qin from Pinehurst is expected but first they will need to battle past Max Henderson and Abbey Nyhoff from Tauranga and Jacky Chen and Sophia Ying from Bucklands Beach respectively.
The girls’ semifinals include the favoured Tauranga pairing of Jordan-Lee Munroe-Grennell and Jasmine Young taking on three pairings from Otumoetai, with Ella Schulz playing strongly throughout the week. Her namesake, Ella Schischka will be hoping that having her wrist in plaster will be no hindrance to making the final.
The boys doubles’ has favourites, Nathan Xu and Thomas Liang from Wairau Intermediate taking on Jacky Chen and Abinav Chawla from Bucklands Beach in one semifinal. The other semifinal has hometown boys, Max Henderson and Josh Lister-Bartlett hoping that their bursts of brilliance can be sustained against the strong Cobham (Christchurch) pairing of Sang Yong Park and Zakary McKellar.
The spectators can be assured that a lot of passion will go into every match, with a medal always at stake.
In additions to matchplay AIMS week has also featured promotional giveaways from code sponsors, Stag International – for all consolation event finalists, plus a coaching course (Kadia Keller-Rice spending an informative session with the Masons from Murupara) and a junior umpiring course from Malcolm Wong (including Indevir Singh, Max Henderson, Simon Gallear and Xavier Lea).