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USA Desk Tennis Star Celebrates Thanksgiving Day with Stellar Performances

Lifted by the cheers of the native crowd filling the stands of the George R Brown Conference Middle, Kanak Jha gave his greatest and made its technique to the Spherical of 16 – the primary time since 1983 that an American man reached this stage at a World Championships.

“It’s Thanksgiving; it’s a very particular vacation,” mentioned Kanak Jha after his match. “I’m actually grateful on a regular basis, however particularly on at the present time, I’m grateful to my household and my closest mates. My household has been with me since Day 1, my father was right here right this moment, it gave me a bit of further motivation as a result of he usually doesn’t see me play. As we speak he was right here for the world championships, I used to be actually proud to win in entrance of him and all my supporters right here. I’m so grateful to all of them. Generally within the match I don’t present to the gang that I can really feel their power, however I do at each level and that sort has been the additional increase for me this match, getting the followers assist. It’s actually a particular feeling, I’m simply so humbled to have the ability to play at dwelling.”

Followers, spectators and volunteers might really feel a singular Thanksgiving environment all through the venue because the Harris County Houston Sports activities Authority celebrated households all day with actions for kids resembling face portray, balloon artwork, and naturally, desk tennis try-outs. The younger followers obtained the go to of an surprising opponent within the individual of Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner.

“I haven’t performed in a couple of years, nevertheless it comes again. It’s a really aggressive sport. It takes some pondering, it takes some power, and it takes a variety of ability. I’m simply amazed,” he mentioned.

Mayor Turner was very happy with the 236 volunteers and their invaluable contribution to the occasion, even on Thanksgiving Day.

“In any respect of our sporting occasions, Houstonians step up, they volunteer, you inform them what you want, they usually present, they usually graciously give of their time. This can be a huge vacation right this moment, it’s Thanksgiving Day, however you continue to have volunteers that step away from their houses, their households to assist out. You simply couldn’t ask for higher assist from a metropolis.”

Aged 6 to 70 and talking a complete of 10 completely different languages, greater than 200 volunteers have been serving to all through the World Championships.

“On Thanksgiving Day, I want to categorical my gratitude to Houston and its unbelievable staff of volunteers. They’re the unsung heroes of this occasion which wouldn’t be attainable with out their assist, mentioned Petra Sörling, ITTF President.

Tomorrow, Jha will face Germany’s Ruwen Filus in a sold-out venue solely behind him. With a number of upsets and no extra top-seeded gamers within the backside half of the draw, Jha might progress even additional in one of the crucial open World Championships in current historical past. He’s additionally enjoying combined doubles with Wang Manyu, a historic China-USA pair on the yr marking the fiftieth anniversary of Ping Pong Diplomacy.

There are 19 million leisure desk tennis gamers in America. By internet hosting the first-ever World Championships within the Americas, the ITTF is trying ahead to leaving a robust legacy and rising Desk Tennis even additional on this continent.

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