APRIL 2012

September 2012 Season Start-Up Information

Hello all Ping Pongers in Manitoba,

We are about to start another season. In Winnipeg, all facilities have now been been confirmed. Region-wise, there are still a lot of program confirmations to be made.

Once all confirmations about facilities are in, I will then email and mail out all required registration and sign-up forms.

The purpose of this email is to let all players know that in WINNIPEG, A LOT OF PROGRAMMING STARTS NEXT WEEK AND THAT WE WILL HAVE "OPEN GYMS" FOR THE NEXT 3-4 WEEKS SO THAT PLAYERS CAN CHECK OUT THE GYMS, COACHES, PROGRAMS ETC. Once the forms have been mailed out, we will then firm up participation at the clubs through training invitations etc. and players will be asked to pay the program fees.

2 0 1 1     N E W S    A R T I C L E S

Frontier High School Championships
Playing Table Tennis With
Polar Bears in Churchill

This past April 7th to 9th, the top 20 boys and 16 girls from 11 high schools in the Frontier School Division travelled to Churchill to compete in the second ever Frontier High School Championships. In all, over 250 athletes and their teachers made the trek to compete in table tennis, archery, badminton and volleyball. I arrived mid-morning on Thursday a couple of hours after the athletes had arrived having survived a grueling 21 hour train ride from Thompson…but not only that…all of these athletes had to first get to Thompson. Take the team from Wanipigow…they had to first travel some 4 or 5 hours down to Winnipeg and then spend another 6 or 7 to get to Wabowden where they were billeted overnight at Mel Johnson School. The next day it was a couple of hours up to Thompson to catch the train to Churchill. Man, what dedication…my hat goes off to all the athletes, coaches and organizers of these Games…what an undertaking and you did an amazing job volunteers and staff from the Duke of Marlborough School and Heather and company from Frontier. Major kudos! READ FULL REPORT HERE .


The Manitoba Open was recently contested at Daniel MacIntrye Collegiate this past March 19th & 2Oth…and I do mean contested as I have seldom seen such a fierce level of play. Saturday started out with Don Kokan capturing the >40 title in a tiebreaker over Michal Rybak. Don was absent for the Golden Boy Open but his win over third place player Jerzy Kusal tied him for first in the Circuit standings with Jerzy. Michal had lost to Jerzy but defeated Don in a wild 5 setter. So Don and Jerzy each have 300 points and the Over 40 title will be contested at the “Tournament Of Champions” April 30th.

In the Doubles events, Mitchell Billinkoff and Kevin Dzioba knocked off the Canada Winter Games Dynamic Duo of Alan Huang and William Liu. For a change, Terry Zhang wasn’t in the final four!

Moving over to the Open Singles event, was the trend to continue for Terry?...well almost. For only the second time this year, someone in Manitoba was able to push Terry. Alan Huang lost a tough match to Terry going six long games. In the B Division, Yu “Rabbit Cheung” knocked off new comer Tan “The Wall” Tran in straight sets. Yongoh Wang of the newly formed Manitoba Korean Table Tennis Association took the C Singles title and badminton player Sean Chawla took the D singles title. Sean said “baby-steps” as he learns the sport of table tennis whom he hopes to one day conquer.

Youth Singles started out the play on Sunday…what…Youth A final, Alan Huang 3, Terry Zhang 0…you got it, not a misprint! Alan avenged his loss in the Open! Also of note was newcomer Zack Baron’s win in the Youth D Singles. Zack also went on to win the Beginner or E singles event as well. Not bad for a first tournament! In the Female First Division, Yilin Tian topped teammate Jacie Liu and they each scored upsets over nemesis Chuling Ye of Saskatchewan in their final group.

Then there was the “Hardbat/ Bigball” event with a whopping $30 up for first place and $15 for second. What is this you ask…well, picture crappy old pimpled or sandpaper bats with varying levels of rubber surface still attached, ad a 44 mm ball and old scoring rules of best 2/3 games to 21 with 5 serves each and you have the picture. Draws were done publicly-16 players only, double knock-out. The featured first round match pitted Coach Damianov against Terry. Despite a valiant effort by clear crowd favorite George, Terry prevailed two straight; the Coach later claimed he didn’t know cash was at stake else he would have fought harder. In fact, Terry took his game all the way to victory lane. In the final he toppled a disheartened Kevin Dzioba who was actually playing better with the pimpled paddle than he does with the sponge paddles. The match had Kevin “looping” with pips and Terry chopping. Alan Huang made it to the semi’s playing penhold and several other players and matches featured some truly UNBELIEVABLE POINTS…short-long-side to side…amazing! A fun event that we will have to repeat again.

Special kudos should go out to Phuong Nguyen (“The Phuongster”), Beixi Jia, Manuel Zaki and Yilin Tian who all won or finished second in multiple events…there were also lots of other great performances to numerous to mention. Complete results are posted as are the up-to-date Manitoba Tournament Circuit Standings.

Next up will be the “Tournament of Champions” on April 30th. Top players in the Open, Youth, Female and over 40 Years Circuit standings will be invited to this special event.

Ron Edwards Reporting



On Friday March 18th, International Umpire Darek Mikita, conducted a seminar and examination on the basic rules of table tennis. The three hour session attracted 12 participants with one no show. Unfortunately, only 8 of the 12 achieved a passing mark higher than the 75% required. Congratulations to the following new Club Umpires: Tony Sumabon, Gerardo Makinano, Mark Lehmann, Teimour Alibegov, Amel & Osama Zaki, Norman Tran and Phuong Nguyen. All participants will be contacted by the office in the coming weeks.



There is a newly formed table tennis group in Winnipeg-the Manitoba Korean Table Tennis Association. They meet 2-3 times a week out of a club on River Avenue and they held their first tournament on Saturday March 5th. Unfortunately, yours truly got lost trying to find the gym while en-route to my daughter’s U. of M. soccer game and so I never made the event. However Coach Damianov dropped by (he’s been to Darwin School before) and was impressed with the level of enthusiasm and play displayed by the 25-30 players. Players were grouped in pools of three or four and the top 2 from each advanced to a knockout draw. First place went to Yongoh Wang (who just won the Manitoba Open 3rd Division), second place to Wan Soo Jeon and third to Kihyun Kim who also competed in our Golden Boy Open event. Congratulations to these first time winners and we look forward to working with you to improve table tennis in Winnipeg.  

Ron Edwards Reporting



Manitoba’s Frontier School Division is one of the largest school divisions in the world! It stretches from Falcon Lake in the East, then North up the East side of Lake Winnipeg and then cuts across to the West in a line roughly from Bissett to Dauphin and Roblin. There are over 30 schools in the Division with some 3,500 students. Many of these schools are only accessible by air, rail or winter road. The school division is broken into six regions and each fall there are Regional games in 8 sports: indoor soccer, volleyball, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, badminton, archery, trap setting and table tennis. From these games, the teams and athletes advance to the Divisional Finals that each March alternate back and forth between Norway House and Cranberry Portage. This year over 500 athletes came to Norway House…where they and their coachs are housed at the Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Eduacation Resouce Center…or “HBO School” for short. This year 27 athletes aged 11-15 years competed in the table tennis finals. They represented 15 different schools from 15 communities.


Girls 14 and Under:
1st-Deidre Catcheway, Skownan,
2nd-Heather Monias, Wabowden,
3rd-Kayla Moose, South Indian Lake

Boys 14 and Under:
1st- Linden Merasty, Brochet,
2nd-Chase Smith, Churchill,
3rd-Blake Sanderson, Wabowden

Girls Over 14:
1st- Kayla Duke, Wabowden,
2nd-Caroline Linklater, Brochet,
3rd-Layne Nicholson, Falcon Lake

Boys Over 14:
1st-Percy York, Norway House,
2nd-Jonah Cochrane, Beren’s River,
3rd-Darwin Smith, Cormorant Lake

Congratulations to all players and special congrats to Kayla Duke who was competing in her fourth or 5th Frontier Games? Kayla represented Manitoba at the 2008 Canadian Junior Championships in Halifax and it was good to see her still knocking the little white ball around. Thank you’s are also in order for Heather Lowe and Brian McMillan who organize these Games and teachers like Frank Powers who bring it all together at the hosts end of things. It was also good to see Robert Henry of Norway House who was a past winner of the table tennis event…sometime way back in the 90’s when he also went on to represent Manitoba at the Canadian Junior Championships. Rob was working security at the Games.

Next up will be the second ever Frontier High School Games to be held in Churchill this coming April 7-9.

Ron Edwards Reporting


                   MID-SEASON REPORT

Well, here we are almost half way through the 2010-2011 table tennis season. So far this has proven to be a very busy season on many fronts.

On the Manitoba Circuit tournament scene, we have hosted three of our five major events. Terry “Tian” Zhang, back from his experiment to become a B.C. player, is back where he left off…in firm control of things. Terry is in first place in the Open Singles Circuit as well as in the Youth Singles Circuit. In fact, he hasn’t yet lost a match in Manitoba tournament play. The Female Circuit – in its first year – is proving very competitive with Jacie Liu and Phuong Nguyen fighting it out for top spot. In third place is Yilin Tian who missed the Red River Open. The question for these younger gladiators is whether cagey veterans Yu Tian and Jiayun Du will compete in the upcoming Manitoba Open…and then there is also Amy Wang who could make an impact. This could be a horserace right to the wire! Don Kokan won the first two “Active 4 Life”/ >40 years events but missed playing the Golden Boy Open. Last year’s winner Michal Rybak was nursing an injury for the first two events but roared back to take the Golden Boy Open defeating Polish compatriot Jerzy Kusal in the final. Tournament entries have been strong this year and it is great to see a lot of new faces as well as some old ones. Thanks to the Referees who put in long hours with draw preparations and for not shedding too many hairs during the stress of the events.

In Winnipeg & District League play, Mitchell Billinkoff is on top of the standings. In fact, Mitchell has handed Terry his only loss so far this season. Terry’s excuse was “I wasn’t trying.” I don’t know… I’ve seen some very close battles between Terry and Mitchell this year and in several of these it’s just been a timely point here or there that has made the difference. Yu “Rabbit” Cheung sits in second place and his patient top-spin variation game is paying dividends. The M.T.T.A. would also like to welcome a couple of other racquet players to our sport. Sean Chawla, son of Provincial Badminton Coach Archie, is out knocking the pong ball around as is racquet sport powerhouse Evan Mancer who is ranked Top 100 in the Racketlon World. Last year Evan finished 5th in his first major international event and decided that table tennis was his Achilles heel…so he’s out to try and rectify this. Racketlon is a sport where you contest table tennis, squash, badminton and tennis playing 1 game of each to 21 points with these being added up to see who wins. Former Canadian Table Tennis Champion Horatio Pintea is a reigning World Doubles Champion in Racketlon and our former Manitoba Provincial Team Coach Rodrigue Bedard heads up Canada’s Racketlon association. Thanks go out to Mike Xu and Gerardo Makinano for keeping the league on track and to Mitchell Billinkoff who codes all of our League and Circuit results for the Canadian ratings and rankings program.

On the Provincial team front, athletes have been training hard since the early fall trying to secure spots for the coveted Canada Winter Games. The Boys team that qualified, in order were Alan Huang, William Liu, Terry Zhang. First alternate was Matthew Lehmann followed by Kevin Dzioba. For the girls it was Yilin Tian, Jacie Liu, Phuong Nguyen and alternates Naomi Tran and Beixi Jia. I would like to congratulate all the athletes who tried to qualify. Unfortunately only 3 boys and 3 girls could qualify but certainly more of you young athletes deserved to go. Coaches are George Damianov and Jiayun “Jia Jia” Du. The table tennis event in Halifax is from February 20-26th. Go Toba go!

Behind the Provincial Squads players are scores and scores of new young players in our Hopefulls and Junior Developmental programs. It is encouraging to see so many young faces out training under the guidance of coaches Jia Jia, Gregory Chan, Mitchell Billinkoff and former Provincial Team player Diren Mulchan. The future looks bright.

As well as lots of youngsters, we have a lot of us older “mature” players (“Active 4 Life” is now the politically correct buzz-word) out knocking the ball around both in Winnipeg and across many parts of Manitoba. In Winnipeg Art Koberstein leads an active group in Windsor and “Rabbitt” leads the group playing in Wolseley and of course there is the club up Henderson Highway fronted by Andrezj “Bob” Wiewiora. Dave Goertzen has got his group up and running in Winkler again and the boys are still playing up in Norway House. There are too just many groups to mention and there are those whom I’ve not heard from in a while…please drop us a line regarding your activities or send some news down! Also, I would like to announce that the newly formed Manitoba Korean Table Tennis Association will be holding their first tournament this coming March 5th at Darwin School. Also upcoming are the Frontier Winter Games to be held in Norway House March 3-5 followed by the Frontier High School Championships April 7-9 in Churchill. The “4th Annual Get Off the Couch” Schools Championships-hosted by Derek Bramadat and the St. James-Assiniboine School Division-are scheduled for April 14th but we have no word on the venue yet. The season ending “Tournament of Champions” is scheduled for April 30th at Darwin School. Due to the larger venue, it is anticipated that more of the top Circuit players will be invited to participate in this $500 event…so make sure you register for the Manitoba Open March 19 & 20th.

On the Coaching and Officials development fronts, we unfortunately had to cancel the December 12th coaching course due to lack of participants. I have recently been talking to Table Tennis Canada and hopefully the M.T.T.A. will be hosting a course later this spring: “Introduction to Competition.” I would also like to point out that Manitoba Coach Gregory Chan is enrolled at the National Coaching Institute and is working on his top level coaching credentials. On Friday March 18th, International Umpire Darek Mikita will be hosting a Club Umpires seminar and examination. This course will be held at Daniel MacIntyre Collegiate and you can click on the link on this site to get a registration form…of course, forms are available for all our events at the click of a link button. Congratulations also to Royle Derbitsky who is our umpire in Halifax at the Canada Winter Games. Darek was also recently umpiring “across the pond” at the English Open where he successfully defended his top level Blue Badge umpiring credentials. The good folks that run the I.T.T.F. umpiring programs insist that International Umpires must defend their credentials every two years…unbelievable I agree but even crazier is that very few of these assessments are available in North America so Canadian and American umpires have to spend big bucks to get assessed overseas…almost as silly as the attention paid to “illegal” glues and thicknesses of the rubbers and sheens of the rubbers and all the expensive machines they invented to test these things and then training testers to test the testers…oh the opportunity costs of these monies…amazing!

We continue with our Bingo Volunteer Credit program and coordinator Norman Tran is always looking for more volunteers. On this note-if anyone wants to submit an article for our website, please email it in to me at table.tennis@sportmanitoba.ca

Hope to see you soon at one of our clubs, tournaments or other programs.

Ron Edwards Reporting



L A S T   Y E A R ' S   N E W S

Manitoba Circuit Titles Decided at April’s Tournament of Champions

The fifth and final event in the M.T.T.A’s 2009-2010 $2,500 Tournament Circuit was the “Tournament of Champions.” This event was hosted by Andy Bachmann and the Winakwa Table Tennis Club on Sunday April 25th. The top 8 players in the standings for each of the four Circuit categories were invited to compete. However none of the out-of-towners were able to make it…including the always “steady but deadly” Thor Truelson of Minneapolis and former Provincial Team player and Circuit leader Terry “Tian” Zhang. Terry’s younger cousin William Liu was very sick and so also could not compete. This left the doors wide open for lower ranked players to walk in and take the cash in each of the four categories.  READ MORE HERE


Many members of the Manitoba Table Tennis Association seem to think that table tennis ends at the perimeter highway…this is well and truly NOT the case! In fact, there are more competitive players living outside of Winnipeg than within it… table tennis is well established in the Eastman, Interlake, Norman and Parkland Regions.  This is in large part due to the Frontier Games in which table tennis is one of 13 sports contested by kids in the largest school division in the world!  Table tennis has also been part of the past two PowerSmart Manitoba Games (summer) as well as the Norman Winter Games and the Manitoba Aboriginal Games.  Thanks to funding provided by Sport Manitoba through its “Participation Initiatives Program”, the M.T.T.A. have been able to continue development in these four regions as well as in the Central and Westman ones.  A perfect example of where our sport is gaining popularity is in Cross Lake.

Last season, thanks to hard work by Emile Muskego and Lyle Settee, a very successful program was started at Mikisew School.  This year, Lyle took his expertise over to the Band Parks and Recreation branch and now has an evening league up and running.  He is also assisting Recreation Director Florence Blacksmith with the set-up of a new women’s table tennis program and league.  Attached here are the standings for the CROSS LAKE TABLE TENNIS LEAGUE to February 10th.  I hope to see several of Cross Lake’s top players at the Manitoba Open in March.


Terry (Tian) Zhang continued his winning ways in Manitoba.  On Saturday February 13th, at the GOLDEN BOY OPEN, he won the Open and Youth Singles events as well as the A Doubles events partnered with younger cousin William Liu.  Terry has now gone 3 for 3 in the Open and Youth Singles events.  Michal Rybak, a long-time fixture on the Manitoba scene, defeated Jerzy Kusal to maintain his perfect 3-0 record in the > 35 years Manitoba Circuit Singles event.  Michal is also proving that the “old guys” can keep up with the kids as he currently sits in 4th in the Open Singles Circuit Event.  Behind him in 5th, sits former three-time Canadian Junior Champion Ryan Szajkowski.  “Ryzo”, as he is known, just celebrated his 30th birthday…congrats! 

It was nice to see a lot of new faces both old and young out playing…at the same time, where were the other 50-60 players who are out playing on a regular basis?

The Golden Boy, was the 3rd of 5 events making up Manitoba’s 2009-2010 Circuit that has $2,500 in prize monies.  Next up, is the Manitoba Open Championships that will be held March 13 & 14 at Daniel MacIntyre Collegiate.  This tournament is doubly important…it is the last chance for players to qualify for April’s TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS plus it is the 1st of 3 qualifiers that will be held to pick Manitoba’s teams for the 2011 CANADA WINTER GAMES.

The top 8 players over the course of the season in Open, Youth, >35 Years and > 50 Years gain entry into the $500 Tournament of Champions.  The race to qualify is close…standings are attached…check’em out!

The 2011 Canada Winter Games will be held in Feb. 2011 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Age category is under 18 years and Manitoba is allowed to select 3 boys and 3 girls.  Besides the March selection event, there will be another 2 held next fall.  Anyone wishing to get involved in training for these Games should contact Coach Damianov at 925-5943.


M.T.T.A.’s own Terry (Tian ) Zhang was in tough in El Salvador this past February 1-3.  Terry was in San Salvador with Coach George Damianov trying to secure 1 of 3 spots for next summer’s games in Singapore.  Each country was allowed to field 1 “gladiator” and Terry was Canada’s based on his winning the Canadian qualification event in December. 


On day one of competition (Feb. 1)  there were 17 players and single knockout.  Terry lost 3-4 to Brand Echevarria of Peru (6-11,13-11,2-11,11-8,12-10,7-11,9-7) and was eliminated. For day 2, the day 1 winner was removed and players were redrawn based on day 1 results.  Terry defeated Orell Cooper (Trinidad & Tobago) 4-0, (11-1,11-1,11-7,11-7).  He then lost 0-4 to Rodrigo Tapia (Ecuador) 9-11,7-11,6-11,11-13 in the quarter finals. On day 3, only 15 players left.  He was again drawn against Brand Echevarria of Peru and built a 3-0 lead…but ended up losing 3-4 (11-8,11-6,11-6,13-15,8-11,8-11,9-11) and thus failing to advance through this event.  There are still more chances to qualify…another event in Venezuela and 2 in Europe.

Good try Terry!

Ron Edwards Reporting



 are well on their way to
in Singapore”

 On October 23 & 24, Terry and his cousin William Liu travelled to British Columbia to compete in the Western Canadian Qualifier which was the first step towards representing Canada in Singapore in August 2010.

The top three players here move on to the Canadian qualifier to be held in Montreal in December.  James Pintea of Ontario finished first, Terry second, and William forth.  So Terry advanced but unfortunately William just missed out.  In December, Terry was off to B.C. for a week of intense training.  The move served him well as Terry finished first out of the 8 boys who competed at the Canadian Qualifier in Montreal.  Next up is the qualifier for the America’s.  This event will be held in San Salvador, El Salvador this February 1st-3rd.  Lolo Zhao from Ontario won the girls event and Coach Damianov was named as the Canadian team coach.  To prepare for El Salvador, Terry was again training in British Columbia from January 11 – 20th at the Bridgeport Table Tennis Club; thanks to Amelia Ho of the B.C.T.T.A.

In El Salavador, the competition will be intense.  Each country for South, Central and North America are allowed to enter 1 player each.  Players will compete February 1st with the 1 top player advancing to Singapore.  On Feb. 2nd, the previosu days winner is excepted, and they compete again…with a second player qualifiing.  Then, on Feb. 3rd, they do it over minus the first 2 winners.  So in all, 3 spots out of 32 are up for grabs based on El Salvador.

Good luck to Tery, Lolo and George.  Terry and George depart for Toronto Jan. 27th for more training and then to El Salavador on the 30th.

Complete qualifier results are posted at www.ctta.ca



As previously reported, M.T.T.A. President Dan Racicot recently had a chance to carry the Olympic torch this past December 23rd in Ontario.  Well, prior to this, former Provincial Team player and sport builder Ted Smook from Thompson had the chance to hoist the flame as well.  Ted’s opportunity came on November 17th in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.  Well done Ted!


Table Tennis, or “ping pong”, used to be such a simple game.  You’ve always had all sorts of blades made of wood, carbon etc. as well as hundreds of different table tennis rubbers.  Some are smooth and sticky and then there are pimples both short and long.  Sponge layers under the covering surface were of different thicknesses, densities etc. Then we had all sorts of glues to affix the rubbers to the blades.  The result was a bewildering array of weapons from which you had to choose…in simple terms you could go for potent offence as evidenced by parameters of speed and spin to the detriment of defense as defined by control.  All was fine and dandy…we made up our weapons of choice and played to 21, 5 serves each etc. We used red rubbers, black rubbers, green rubbers, orange rubbers etc. etc. And then things started to change.  The scoring system changed as now games went to only 11 with only two serves each.  And then they went and made the ball larger, and then concocted a massive plethora of ever changing rules and regulations regarding glueing your rubber to your paddle…the arms race was being more and more controlled…we’ve always had umpires and referees…but now we have “RACQUET CONTROLLERS”…yes, I kid you not!  What do they do you ask, well, read this report by Darek Mikita who is one of three of Canada’s only certified Racquet Controllers…Gregory Chan and Greg Dzioba-both of Manitoba-are the other two.  What will they think of next in this “wonderfull wacky world of table tennis.”?

Racket Control Report by Darek Mikita




On Wednesday December 23rd, 2009 I experienced an event of a lifetime. Ricoh the company I work for and a sponsor to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics appointed me to carry the Flame as 1 of 20 spots allowed to the company. FULL STORY HERE



On Saturday December 12th, the titles of the Red River Open were contested. When the final loops and blocks had been made, Terry "Tian" Zhang remained perfect. Terry defeated his younger cousin William Liu in each of the Youth and A Singles finals to remain a perfect 2-0 intitles in these events. They then teamed up to defeat Coach Daminaov and Alan Huang in the A Doubles final. Michal Rybak, the always dangerous two-winged looper, won his second > 35 Years title with former Provincial Team player Don Kokan being the bridesmaid again. The tournament was well attended and saw a lot of new faces out playing in their first tournament. Results are posted here as well as the overall  MANITOBA CIRCUIT STANDINGS.


In March, the MTTA offices moved from the 3rd floor of 200 Main to the 5th floor. Well, we are currently moving again to the second floor of 1271 Sargent Avenue. Phones and computers should be up later this week. All mail should still be sent to the 200 Main Street address. In February (we hope) we will move to our new offices at 145 Pacific Avenue. Sorry for any
inconveniences these moves have made/ will make...not under MTTA control!


In Montreal on December 19-20, Terry Zhang will be competing in the Canadian Selection event to try and qualify for the 2010 World Youth Olympic Games
being held in Singapore next August. Terry qualified for the Canadian
selection finals by finishing second in a regional qualifier held in Vancouver in October. Unfortunately, William Liu didn't qualify finsihing a

strong 4th...but only 3 went forward! If Terry wins in Montreal, he will travel to South America for the America's qualifying event in February.

Good luck Terry!





Play in the 2008-2009 Winnipeg league started last November and wound up on May 27th after 23 weeks of individual match play.  In this league, players compete for themselves and are ranked on a percentage win/ loss basis.  This year we had only 37 different players compete down from last years 50 and 45 the year before.  In order to be eligible for the $500 prize monies, players must over the course of the season contest more than the league “average number of matches.”  This season, the 37 players contested 1,061 matches that counted towards Manitoba & Canadian Ratings and Rankings.

As for the past couple of years, young Terry “Tian” Zhang (#1 Ranked Cadet player in Canada) won the league posting a perfect 36-0 record.  In second place was another youngster William Liu who went 26-4 over the season.  In third place, with a 49-18 record was “The Rabbit”, aka Yu Cheung.  Yu, with his 67 overall matches played, was tied with English veteran Liam Barclay for the “Ironman” award.  Rounding out the top 5 were Mike Xu from Edmonton who posted a 43-16 record and young Matthew Lehmann, who at only age 11, finished 5th with a 29-17 record.  Well done Matthew et al…prize cheques will be in the mail soon.  Plans are already underway for next season.  Please feel free to email me at mtta@shawbiz.ca with any comments, questions or concerns.


Ron Edwards Reporting.


Coaching Course

Hey, want to coach?? MTTA June 13 Coaching Course 
is now taking registrations ...

for the
2009 Candian Championships

Congratulations to the following players who have been selected to represent Manitoba at the 2009 Canadian Championships:

Boys Under 11: Manual Zaki & Taj Moryl. Boys Under 13: Alan Huang &Matthew Lehmann. 

Boy's Under 15: Terry Zhang & William Liu. 

Boys Under18: Kevin Dzioba & Patrick Hilario. 

Girls Under 11: Jacie Liu & Beixi

Girls Under 13: Yilin Tian & Phuong Nguyen. 

Girls Under 15: XichiYang & Sheila Mogg. 

Girls Under 18: Lucy Liu & Amy Wang.Men's

SR. Ntls Team: Terry Zhang, Alan Huang, William Liu. 

Woman's Sr.
Ntls. Team: Lucy Liu, Amy Wang, Xichi Yang.

Coaches: George Damianov & Jiayun Du. 

Several parents will also be
travelling with the team and staying at the hotel.

Umpire: Royle Derbitsky.

Coach Damianov will be contacting players in the near future regarding uniform requirements etc.

G O O D  L U C K !!


 The 2008-2009 Manitoba Circuit wrapped up this past Saturday April 11th with the “TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS.”  This event-which I hope to make an annual one-was hosted by Andy Bachmann and the Winakwa Community Centre.  The event featured the season’s top 8 point getters in each of the four disciplines:  Open Singles, Youth Singles, Over 35 Years and Over 50 Years.  $500 in prize monies was added for this event bringing the Circuit’s total purse up to $2,500.  The intent of this was to entice more of the many “sleeper” players to “Get Out of the Basement” and into a sanctioned event…more thoughts on this later! READ MORE HERE ...



Table Tennis Canada has announced its Spring 2009 National Squads.

Congratulations go to Terry (Tian) Zhang, Alan Huang, Roman Kishinevsky and
William Liu who have been named 
to one of the Squads. 



Tournament of Champions!
Winakwa C.C.
Saturday April 11
C'mon and cheer for
our champions!!





The field of players has been set for the $500 TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS that will be hosted by Andy Bachmann and the Winakwa Community Centre on Saturday April 11th.


This tournament will be a “pro-style” event with the top 8 finishers from the 2008-2009 Manitoba Circuit events invited to participate.  Players from the Open “A” Singles, Youth Singles, > 35 Year Singles and > 50 Year Singles will receive FREE entry into the event.  $500 in extra prize monies will be up for grabs plus results count toward final Circuit Standings, which will be used to partially select Manitoba’s teams for the Western Canadian Championships and the Nationals. 


Matches in all 4 events will be knockout with spots 1-8 determined for each; each player guaranteed 2 matches.  Play will be conducted on three Sky Blue Europa tables with orange Butterfly 3 star balls.  Each match will be time scheduled and will feature a certified umpire.  Seedings will be by Table Tennis Canada April ratings and NOT by Circuit Standings as was posted.  Selected players will be contacted by MTTA staff and must reply by the deadline of March 31st.  Alternates will be invited in order of finish; if two alternates are tied, the player with the higher rating will be invited.  SEE WHETHER YOU HAVE QUALIFIED BY GOING TO THE CIRCUIT STANDINGS! 

Phone George at 925-5943 to confirm your participation.



Daniel McIntrye Collegiate was the site for the 2009 Manitoba Open Championships that attracted players from all over Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

This event was the last one to qualify for the TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS. 


Terry “Tian” Zhang, again dominated as he has for the whole season.  Terry won the Open, Youth and A Doubles (partnered with Mitchell Billinkoff) titles to take home of the $500 prize monies!  Terry’s victim in the A & Youth singles finals was William Liu.  William fought hard but couldn’t match the power of his older cousin.


Michal Rybak completed his 4 for 4 sweep as he won the over 35 Years event over second place finisher Liam Barclay…Michal will be tough to beat in the Tournament of Champions!  In the > 50 Years event, Windsor’s Zeljko Babic prevented Liam from completing his own 4 for 4 sweep!

The “No Kids Allowed” winner was newcomer Jiayun Du.  “Jia-Jia”, as she likes to be called, is one of the MTTA’s new coaches working with Coach Damianov.  It was nice to watch Jia Jia’s classic pen-hold style of play. 

Yu Cheung, aka “Rabbit”, wins my award as tournament MVP.  Rabbit gave Terry a bit of a run in the Youth Singles semi-final and also played well in the A Singles.  Young Roman Kishinevsky was in another “war” against Kevin Dzioba…man do these two play some spirited matches…good to see the fight!

Congratulations also to Matthew Lehmann who was the youngest player to qualify for the Youth Tournament of Champions event.

Complete results are now posted elsewhere at www.mtta.ca

Ron Edwards Reporting



 Manitoba “ping-pongers” battled this past weekend at Daniel MacIntrye Collegiate to determine our Provincial Champions.  Unfortunately the cold weather kept a lot of players away and so the battles were only between players from Winnipeg and Selkirk. 

Terry (Tian) Zhang again proved unstoppable as he won all three of his events.  His victim in each of the Open “A” Singles and Youth Singles was his doubles partner William (“Willie”) Liu.  Although close, Willie just can’t seem to defeat his cousin. 

In the “A” Doubles final, they defeated “old-timers” Ron Edwards (old) and Ryan Szajkowski (not so old) in 4 sets.  Come press time, Ron is still having problems moving.

Newcomer Jordie Moryl beat up on his little brother Taj two times to claim two titles:  the B Singles 3rd Division and the Youth Singles 3rd Division.  Kevin Dzioba and Matthew Lehmann each turned in strong performances in the Youth Singles event.  Kevin moves into 3rd spot in the “Youth Singles Circuit Standings” and Matthew stands 5th.  With 2/4 tournaments held, both players show a good chance to finish TOP 8 to advance to April’s TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS. 

Michal Rybak and Liam Barclay again dominated the >35 and >50 Years Singles categories. 

The next event will be the Golden Boy Open on February 7th and on the 8th will be another 1-day training camp.  Players from Saskatchewan are expected to participate in the next event.  March 7th and 8th will be the Manitoba Open Championships and this will be players last chance to qualify for the TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS.


Complete results and current CIRCUIT STANDINGS are now posted!

Ron “Sore Back: Edwards reporting.


Manitoba Table Tennis 
Circuit Kicks OFF!"


The first event in the 2008-2009 Circuit was held on Saturday November 8th at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate lower gym.

The Red River Open Championships had events for players of all ages and all ability levels.  By the end of the day 13 titles had been decided.  The only multiple event winner was Terry (Tian) Zhang who won the A "Open" Singles title plus those of Youth and A Doubles with partner William Liu.  For this current 2008-2009 Season, the Manitoba Table Tennis Association will be hosting its first ever "TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS."  The top 8 point getters from the A Sgls, Youth Sgls, >35 Sgls and >50 Sgls. events will get free entry into this tournament to be held on April 4th at Winakwa Community Centre in Winnipeg.  Other Circuit event winners were Michal Rybak who took home the first >35 Years trophy and Liam Barclay who took top honours in the >50 Years events.

The weather, road conditions and unfortunate timing of the C.F.L's Eastern Semi-Final keep entries down somewhat.  34 players risked the icy roads coming from as far away as Norway House, Beren's River, Fisher Branch and Brandon to compete.  Richard Wilson from Beren's River won the B Sgls. 3rd Division title and Brandon's Luke Giesbrecht finished second in the B-2nd Division dropping 4 straight sets to penholder Hsiu-Wen Chen.  We hope to see many more players from across Manitoba this year.  Clubs are up and running in Thompson and Carman and we hope to see guys like former Provincial Team Players Greg Gusberti and Ted Smook up in Gillam and Thompson respectively.  Kadar Nur Ahmed is living in Brandon and there are some more players playing there....  Results from these events count towards selection of Manitoba's Provincial teams...so even new-comers may have a chance.  But, if you don't think you are that good, not to worry...there are categories of play for you too!  The weekend concluded with a training camp on the Sunday conducted by M.T.T.A. Head Coach Mr. George Damianov.

 Next on the calendar will be the Manitoba Closed Championships and training camp to be held at the same location on December 6th and 7th.

 Ron Edwards Reporting   ... 925-5690


Mon. DMCI 6:30 - 9:30 Now Open
Tues. John Pritchard School 6:30 -9:30 Start Oct. 21
Wed. DMCI 6:30 - 9:30 League Play 
Thur. Wndsor School 7:00 - 10:00 Now Open
Fri. DMCI  6:30 - 9:30 Now Open
Sun. Winakwa C.C. 12:00 - 2:00 Now Open
Winakwa Closed Sun Nov 30

NOTE: MTTA Super League has now begun Wednesdays at DMCI, 6:30 - 9:00
All matches count towards CTTA rating

Hey, let's get ready for the Manitoba Closed in a couple of weeks!

Ron Edwards
Executive Director,
Manitoba Table Tennis Association


 This past summer, Greg Chan – the M.T.T.A.’s Officials Development Chairperson – conducted 2 Club Umpire Seminar & Examination sessions.  The first was held in May in Elm Creek and the second was in August in Carman.  Both sessions were to prepare officials for the very successful 2008 Power Smart Manitoba Games hosted by Carman August 11-14:  (complete report and results to follow).

Congratulations and a sincere thank-you for your efforts in Carman and Elm Creek go out to:  Bob Kowalchuk, Ed Schroeder, Ray Caddoo, Gail Jones, Art Scora, Neil Vanderput, Neil Strachan, Dale Warkentin, Terra Huston, Dorothy Strachan, Samantha Clemis, Kylie Nicolajsen, Katlyn Burdenuk, Ceone Dyck, Isabel Rutter.  Your participation and volunteer efforts made the table tennis event a great success! 

These persons will receive a lapel pin; certificate and Provincial Level Umpires Trainee card in the mail very soon.  This is the first stage in umpiring.  Hopefully you will follow in the footsteps of another two Manitoba Umpires who started their careers in the late 1980’s.  These are International Umpires Mr. Darek Mikita and MR. Greg Dzioba.  Darek represented Canada at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and Greg just returned from the 2008 BEIJING OLYMPIC GAMES!  Wow, what an honour and what an experience it must have been to travel to the Olympics held in the land of table tennis!

The Central Region’s newly qualified umpires will also have the chance to start to knock the ball around in Carman as Bob Kowalchuk is in the process of setting up a new club at the Active Living Centre.  This is in addition to current groups playing in St. Alphonse and Winkler. Over and out.

Ron Edwards Reporting



The trials to select the Winnipeg team for the August 2008 Power Smart Manitoba Games finals were held this past Saturday June 21st.   The action was fast at furious at the Crescentwood Community Centre as boys and girls battled in the under 13 and under 15 years age categories.  Many matches went the full five game distance.  When the dust settled, results were as follows:


GOLD-Sergiu Buda   SILVER-Colin Stranc   BRONZE-Daniel Hu


GOLD-Francesca Chan


GOLD-Patrick Hilario   SILVER-Arjun Nirula   BRONZE-Daniel Hu


GOLD-Kathleen Kopp

These athletes will now travel as part of Team Winnipeg to the August 11-14 table tennis event in Carman.  Athletes will compete in individual singles events as well in the team event where they play singles, doubles and mixed doubles.  Full Games information can be found elsewhere on the www.mtta.ca site.

Eight teams will be at the Games.  Besides Winnipeg there are teams from the Central, Parkland, Eastman, Norman, Westman, host Carman team and the defending champions from the Interlake.

Of interest is the fact that the Winnipeg coach might well be the 2007 Canada Winter Games Bronze medallist Frederick “Freddie Fingers” Eng.  Freddie’s brother Patrick was the Winnipeg team coach for the 2004 Games in Dauphin.  Freddie says his goal would be to upset Dan Racicot’s Interlake team and thus not only restore the family name but to bring the title back to Winnipeg.

See you in Carman!

Ron Edwards Reporting

PS-The MTTA is still in need of volunteers to help officiate in Carman.  If you can make the commitment please contact the office at mtta@shawbiz.ca



This past Saturday June 14th, the Parkland Region held their tryouts to pick their table tennis team for the 2008 Power Smart Manitoba Games.  The trials were hosted at Gilbert Plains High School by Deanna Gouldsborough of the Gilbert Plains Recreation Commission and local player Dominic Gamache.

Entries were not at expected levels.  However, in the end, players from 5 communities entered.  Results were as follows:

Boys 13 and Under Winner was Desmond Nepinak from Camperville.

Boys 15 and Under Winner was Luke Love from Dauphin.

Runner-ups in the boys event was Konelley Houle from Ebb & Flow and Criag Genaille from Minitonas. 

The Parkland Region Girls team will be composed of some players from Skownan who were unfortunately unable to attend the trials.

In the separate “Open Singles Event”, Luke Love bested Dominic Gamache in 4 games.

Results from all events count towards Manitoba & Canadian ratings & rankings which can found at www.ctta.ca or by linking from the Manitoba Table Tennis Association website at www.mtta.ca

Dominic Gamache also wrote his Club Umpire examination to hopefully become a Certified Club Umpire.  Thank you also to Courtney Edwards of Winnipeg who was our main umpire for the event and to Parkland Sport Region’s “Sweet-Pete-Conway.”

Ron Edwards Reporting



This past Tuesday June 2nd, MTTA Provincial Team player Mitchell Billinkoff was named Jewish Athlete of the Year.  The award was made at the 36th annual Rady Jewish Community Centre and Y Sports Dinner.  Mitchell received the “Idy & Max Nusgart Memorial Award” for his many accomplishments in table tennis.  Congratulations to Mitchell.  Next up for him are the Canadian Senior & Junior Championships this coming July in Halifax.

Ron Edwards Reporting


 This past Monday June 2nd, Ryan and Francis from the Stride Gum “ping pong” team made their way to Winnipeg.  Winnipeg was one of 28 scheduled stops for them as they make their way across Canada in their 1966 VW to prove that Stride Gum can outlast all ping pong games.

After receiving excellent coverage
  in both the Winnipeg Sun and
  Winnipeg Free Press for some
  outside Portage Place spectator
  challenge matches, the pair
  stopped in at Daniel MacIntyre
  Collegiate and had a knock against some members of our Provincial Team and Recreational Club players such as Frank Lee.  Ryan and Francis also want to pass on their apologies to Junior player Matthew Lehmann …unfortunately time ran out and they couldn’t have a knock with him.

  Check out their blog site and the
  “Stride Factory Ping Pong
   Challenge” at www.stridegum.ca

Ron Edwards Reporting



 On Friday May 9th at Hedges Middle School, the MTTA 
 assisted the St. James-Assiniboia School Division with the
 running of their first ever table tennis tournament. It is hoped
 that this will turn into an annual event.

  Point man for the school division was Mr. Derek Bramadat
 who is their Phys. Ed. and Health Coordinator.  Mr. Bramadat
 borrowed numerous print and video resources from the
 MTTA and will be putting together resource packages for
 Division schools: TOPs plus a DVD/ video tool ...

2008 Manitoba Games Central Region Trials

The trials for the Central Region were hosted on Saturday May 10th at Elm Creek School. 17 players from 7 communities throughout the Region signed up to play but 2 were a no show.   READ MORE HERE

Stiga Big Bang Provincial Team Report
Montreal, March 21-22

  Recently Team Manitoba members William Liu, Terry Zhang, Alan Huang and myself traveled to Montreal for the Big Bang, the sixth event on the Quebec circuit. It was a giant tournament with hundreds of the best players from across Canada competing.

  The first day of competition was on Saturday and consisted of the rating events. Each event was based on rating (eg. 1201-2100). Alan played in the 800-1600 and 551-1200 event where he was ranked the number one seed. In the 551-1200 he won his round robin and advanced to the quarter finals where he was defeated. In the 800-1600 event he did not advance from his round robin but he gained a lot of experience and had some good wins. Alan is beginning to understand what he needs to do in order to have success at the upcoming junior nationals. William played in the 1201-2100 and 800-1600 events. In the 1202-2100 event William came second in his group and advanced all the way to the semi-finals where he lost to the eventual winner. In the 800-1600 event he also advanced from his group and lost in the quarter-finals to the eventual second place finisher. William also gained a ton of experience and also racked up some rating points. Terry was rated too high to play in any events in the morning so he helped George and coached for the first half of the day. In the afternoon Terry played in the 2300+ event with the best players in the tournament. Terry did not play his best and came 3rd in his group and did not advance to the next round. I played in the 1201-2100 and 1601-2300 events. In both events I placed 2nd in my groups from three way ties. In the 1201-2100 I advanced to the finals and in the 1601-2300 event I made the semi-finals and picked up some much needed rating.

 The second day was a little different with everyone playing team event. William and Alan teamed up to practice for the nationals where they will be partners. They won their group and advanced to the finals where they lost a very tough and close match. I teamed up with Oleg Potapov from Quebec. We formed a great lefty-righty team and advanced all the way to the finals where he won 3-1. Terry formed a team with Pierre-Luc Theriault of Quebec. They hoped to gain experience together because they may be the future of Canadian table tennis. They were a great team and won their group defeating a higher seeded team. All matches in the final were very close but Terry and Pierre-Luc ended up losing 3-0. Their surprise victory in the group impressed many people and it looks like the future is bright for the two of them.

 Overall it was a great tournament. Much experience and rating was gained and the team is now looking forward to the Western Canadian Championships on May 17-18 in Vancouver.

Mitchell Billinkoff Reporting



Winakwa News Spring 2008 by Andy Bachmann


Last month Terry had earned a National Coach "wild card" selection for the first Canadian team qualification event to see who represents Canada in Beijing.  On January 5-6, Terry travelled to Vancouver with Coach Damianov where he competed against 13 of Canada’s top players ... 



Craig was signed by French table tennis club "Club Pongiste Orangeois" before Christmas and is playing for their team this season in one of the many French table tennis leagues. 



Greg Dzioba and fellow International Umpire Darek Mikita were in Palo Alto California last month to officiate and update their credentials at the ITTF World Junior Table Tennis Championships.  Then, in late December, Greg Chan represented Canada at the United States Open Paralympic Championships in  Chicago.  




This past December 1st and 2nd, Manitoba’s top player Terry Zhang was in Montreal along with Coach Damianov for the 2007 Canada Cup finals.

In the team event, his Team Butterfly defeated Team Donic by a 3-0 score but then latter on fell to Team British Columbia 0-3.  They thus finished the 3-tournament league with a 3-3 team record to finish in 5th place out of 7 Men’s teams.

In individual play, Terry was knocked out of his Men’s Singles Group but reached the semi-final of the Boy’s Under 17 Years Singles where he lost to eventual winner Andre Ho of B.C. in straight sets: -8, -8, -7.

For the season, he finished tied for 22-28th spot in the 2007 Stiga Canada Cup Men’s Singles Season Standings.  His performance this past weekend was strong enough for him to earn a “National Team Coach Selection” spot in the January 5-6 “National Team Challenge Tournament” which is the Canadian Olympic Qualifier.  Well done Terry and Coach Damianov and good luck in Vancouver!

For complete results go to Table Tennis Canada’s website at www.ctta.ca

Ron Edwards Reporting



Table Tennis Canada recently announced that Winnipeg umpire Mr. Greg Dzioba will be the lone umpire from Canada at the Bejing Olympic tabletennis event. This is indeed a tremendous honour for Mr. Dzioba and he does our province proud. Mr. Dzioba is truly one of Canada's best International Level umpires and he follows in the footsteps of ourPresident Mr. Darek Mikita who represented Canada at the last Olympicsin Athens. Well done!

Many opportunites exist for those who want to get involved in officiating-either as an umpire or referee. We will need many of both to help with the Manitoba Summer Games in the spring and summer of 2008.



This August past, M.T.T.A. Provincial Team member Mitchell Billinkoff traveled to Orange County, California to compete in the 25th annual Maccabi Games.  There were 2000 athletes between the ages of 13 and 16 there.  While most of the athletes were from the United States, several Canadian cities were represented (Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton and Vancouver) as were Great Britain, Mexico and Israel.  Mitchell was the only table tennis player among Winnipeg’s 7 athletes.  Team Winnipeg had a successful week – winning 6 gold medals, 1 silver and 1 bronze.  Mitchell won gold in the under 17 boys singles, defeating a player form Israel.  His doubles partner was from L.A. and they won gold in the under 17 boys’ doubles as well as gold in the team event. Overall the games were a great success and Mitchell hopes to participate in the Maccabiah Games in Israel in 2009.