LRTTC is pleased to provide this Tournament Report for the 2016 Annual Friends of India Table Tennis Tournament!

The annual Friends of India table tennis tournament is a friendly and competitive gathering of table tennis enthusiasts to promote diversity of cultures, provide a positive atmosphere for social interactions, and participate in the healthy and fun sport of table tennis.

Thanks to the volunteers from LRTTC and Friends of India - Central Arkansas who were able to make it early to help with equipment setup and tournament preparations and stay to take down equipment and put everything away.  Special thanks to FOI President Pramod Nelluri and President-elect Rajesh Mehta for sponsoring the tournament and providing food and sports drinks for participants.  We'd also like to thank the Jim Dailey Fitness & Aquatic Center staff who helped us make this tournament a success.  

 The Juniors competition included a 3-player round robin between brothers Jason (age 9)and Alex Piech (age 7) from Rogers, Arkansas and Pop who is a visiting exchange student from Thailand. The championship match came down to a battle of the brothers, with Alex edging Jason 11-9 in the 5th game. The juniors were really fun to watch and we were treated to a wonderful display of camaraderie and sportsmanship.

The Novice event consisted of a field of 9 players split into 3 groups with all players advancing to 3 divisions: Championship, A, and B. Noteworthy first-round performances included Anthony Sims winning both of his matches while only allowing 10 points to be scored by his opponents.

The Novice Championship group consisted of Ajinkya Gabhe, Anthony Sims and Nitin Karakala. Ajinkya had little trouble claiming the Championship by defeating both of his opponents 3-0, only allowing on average 6 points per game. The match between Anthony and Nitin saw each player trading games with the games tied at 2-2. Nitin was able to confirm his second place finish with an 11-3 victory in the 5th and final game.

In Novice Division A, Nishav Mainali came in first place, followed by Don Cordes in second place, and Sirish Bennuri in third.

In Novice Division B, Jake Jones came in first place with a commanding performance by defeating Venu and Pop while only allowing on average 4.5 points per game. Pop took second place with Venu coming in third.

Congratulations and thanks to all of the Novice players who helped make this tournament memorable. Special congratulations to overall Novice champion Ajinkya Gabhe and second place finisher Nitin Karakala!

Open Singles competition consisted of 16 players in groups of 4 for the preliminary round robin, with all players advancing to divisions: Championship, A, B, and C. In the Championship division, top seed Ricky Criado dispatched Mike Lauro, Kedar Jamhekar, and William Hall without dropping a game to take the Champion's crown. Mike overcame Kedar and William to secure second place.

Open Singles Division A Results: The winner is Carl Lewis who won all 3 of his matches 3-0 against Louis, Jeff, and Manju. There was a 3-way tie for second place that decided by the ratio of points won to points lost. Manju edged out both Jeff and Louis to claim second place, with Jeff coming in third and Louis fourth.

Open Singles Division B Results: No ties here. Ajinkya Gabhe won first place, Suresh second, Mohan third, and Sachin fourth.

Open Singles Division C Results: This was the only 3 player group due to a late withdrawal, and involved the Piech brothers from Rogers, Arkansas and local player Sirish Bennuri. Jason won both matches for first place, beating Sirish in 3 games, and beating brother Alex 12-10 in the 4th game. Sirish could not keep up with Jason's quickness, but played very well against Alex. Although Alex won the match against Sirish the games were 11-9, 13-11, and 11-9.  Alex came in second and Sirish third.

Congratulations to the winners and participants in the Open Singles divisions, and thanks for the helping to make the day an exciting one.

Six doubles teams squared off in a 2-stage combination event consisting of a round robin of 2 groups of 3 teams with the top team from each group advancing to a final.
In Group 1, Ricky Criado/Jason Piece advanced to the final by defeating the teams of Mike Lauro/Alex Piech and Jeff Pratt/Mohan Reddy. In Group 2, the three teams slugged it out in 5 games in all the matches, resulting in a 3-way tie for first place. In the tiebreak procedure, each team won 5 games and lost 5 games resulting in a calculation of the ratio of points-won-to-points-lost. Team Kedar Jambhekar/Suresh Kannan edged out the other two teams by winning 6 more points than the second place team of Louis Vance/Ajinkya Gabhe who held off the third place team of Carl Lewis/Mugimane Manju by just 2 points.

In the Open Doubles final, Ricky and Jason won the first two games holding Kedar and Suresh to just 5 and 4 points. Kedar and Suresh rallied to win the next two games at 7 and 5. With the championship on the line, Ricky and Jason were able to hold off Kedar and Suresh 11-6 in the final and deciding game. Congratulations to the Doubles Champions Ricky and Jason, and thanks to all the teams for a thrilling competition!

The Piech brothers had a great combined result at the tournament with Alex winning the Junior event and Jason winning the Open Doubles. Congrats to both juniors and special thanks to parents Sharon and Bill Piech for making the trip to Little Rock and volunteering.

From the financial perspective, the club received $377 in entry fees and owes about $75 in admission fees to the Dailey Center, resulting in about $300 of revenue. This money, combined with money we make from regular player subscriptions, guest passes, monthly tournament entries, and online purchases through our affiliate account and Smile account, is used to purchase equipment for the club. In the last 6 months, we have purchased more premium plastic balls, a rolling catch net for multiball and serve practice, a robot/ball caddy, and 2 brand new Donic Waldner Classic 25 tables with Donic Stress net assemblies. More and better equipment means a better table tennis experience for everyone who comes out to enjoy the sport.

Many thanks to the staff at the Jim Dailey Fitness and Aquatic Center and Little Rock Parks and Recreation for providing the space and assistance with the tournament. Our partnership with the the Dailey Center and LR Parks has been a rewarding one and we look forward to continued growth of our club and the sport of table tennis in Arkansas.

Below are the results of all of the events:

Event Results - Open Singles

Open Singles - Championship Division

  • Overall Champion: Ricky Criado
  • Runner Up:  Mike Lauro
  • 3rd Place: Kedar Jambkehar

Open Singles - Division A

  • 1st Place: Carl Lewis
  • 2nd Place: Mugimane Manju
  • 3rd Place: Jeff Pratt

Open Singles - Division B

  • 1st Place: Ajinkya Gabhe
  • 2nd Place: Suresh Kannan
  • 3rd Place: Sachin Patil

Open Singles - Division C

  • 1st Place: Alex Piech
  • 2nd Place: Jason Piech
  • 3rd Place: Sirish Bennuri

Event Results - Junior Singles

Junior Singles

  • 1st Place: Alex Piech
  • 2nd Place: Jason Piech
  • 3rd Place: Pop

Event Results - Novice Singles

Novice Singles - Championship Division

  • Overall Champion: Ajinkya Gabhe
  • Runner Up: Nitin Karkala
  • 3rd Place: Anthony Sims

Novice Singles - Division A

  • 1st Place: Nishav Mainali
  • 2nd Place: Don Cordes
  • 3rd Place: Sirish Bennuri

Novice Singles - Division B

  • 1st Place:  Jake Jones
  • 2nd Place: Pop
  • 3rd Place: Venu Chittemsetty

Event Results - Open Doubles

  • Champions:  Ricky Criado & Jason Piech
  • 2nd Place: Kedar Jambhekar & Suresh Kannan

Photos & Videos:

Thank You!

Again, thanks again to everyone who participated in our 31st monthly tournament and especially to Friends of India - Central Arkansas and to Jim Dailey Fitness & Aquatic Center for support of LRTTC and table tennis.