By Drew Todd
, Team BC Mission Staff
The Team BC table tennis athletes hit the tables today as competition got underway at the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Monday’s schedule consisted of the first two stages of the boys and girls team events, where all three players of each gender play as a unit against the other provinces. Representing Team BC for the boys was Frank Liao
(Vancouver), Michael Luo
(Burnaby) and Mike Yue
(New Westminster). The girls’ side was made up of Natasha Carr-Harris
(Vancouver), Leanne Lee
(Burnaby) and Ivy Liao
The girls started the day with a big win over Team Yukon (3-0) and followed that up with another strong showing against Team Saskatchewan (3-0). Due to their round robin performance, Team BC moved into the semi-finals and faced off against Team Alberta. It was a hotly contested, marathon back-and-forth match, lasting well over two hours with neither side taking a significant lead at any point. In the end, Team BC lost a heartbreaker in the fifth and deciding game, of the fifth and deciding match, 11-9.
When asked what it was like to be in a match that intense, Carr-Harris replied, “oh gosh… it’s really nerve wracking, but at the same time exciting.” Carr-Harris, who won both of her singles matches as part of the team match, still saw positives in the loss however. “The defeat brought us closer together.” The team event continues for the girls with a crossover match Tuesday evening where a win will get them into the bronze medal match Wednesday night.
The boys team fared well on Monday with sweeps over Team Yukon and Team Prince Edward Island. For the evening stage two semi-final match, Team BC was slotted to play a heavily favoured Team Alberta squad. But with the home crowd powering them on, the boys managed to pull off the upset with a dominating 3-0 win over the Albertans. Yue started things off with a thrilling five-game victory, and the rest of the team rolled from there. Luo followed Yue with a big singles win, and then paired up with Liao (Frank) to finish off the match in the doubles. The win gives them a birth in the team finals Wednesday night against the powerhouse Team Ontario unit.
The rest of the paired disciplines get going Tuesday with boys and girls doubles, mixed doubles, and team events taking place throughout the day.
See Canada Games live streaming at www.canadagamestv.ca
and follow live updates on Twitter from @GoTeamBC
with the hashtag #TBCTableTennis.