Artur Kurek and Amina Batkhuyag crowned 2023 Illinois State Champions
by Vlad Farcas
A Remarkable Turnout
In an exhilarating showcase of table tennis talent, the 2023 USATT Illinois State Championship took place at the Experior Table Tennis Club in Addison, IL. With more than 100 players participating across eight distinct events, the championship provided spectators and competitors alike with a memorable display of skill and sportsmanship.
Men's Singles: A Thrilling Upset
The Men's Singles event was a highlight of the championship, featuring intense competition and thrilling matches. Artur Kurek, rated 2304, made an unforgettable mark by pulling off a significant upset against Michael Wolski, rated 2334. Kurek's victory was particularly remarkable because he hadn't managed to secure a win against Wolski in the past three years. It was a testament to his dedication and improvement as a player.
The podium also saw Pawel Ziolko, rated 2217, and Janusz Franeczek, rated 2181, as bronze medalists, showcasing the depth of talent in the men's singles category.
Women's Singles: A Rising Star
In the Women's Singles event, the top seed, Amina Batkhuyag, rated 2241, showcased her exceptional talent and determination. At just 14 years old, Batkhuyag won the state championship, defeating her opponent, Aziza Abdrafikova, in the finals. Amina is the young star of women’s table tennis in Illinois.
Family Rivalry in Open Doubles
The Open Doubles event brought a unique twist to the competition, as family members teamed up and faced off against each other. Ultimately, it was the duo of Michael Wolski and Wojciech Wolski who emerged victorious, securing the title in a thrilling final against Tsetsen Batkhuyag and Amina Batkhuyag.
Juniors Event: A Glimpse of the Future
The Juniors event was fiercely contested, and it was Saye Vikram Karthikeyan, rated 1833, who emerged as the victor. This category showcased the immense potential and talent among the young players growing and developing in Illinois.
Experior Table Tennis Club: Proud Hosts
The Experior Table Tennis Club, the host of the 2023 USATT Illinois State Championship, played a pivotal role in making the event a grand success. Wojciech Wolski, representing the club, expressed immense pride in hosting the championship, stating, "This was a great honor for our club to host the Illinois State Championship tournament. For so many years, there was no State Championship in Illinois, and it returned and was hosted by the Experior Club. We are so proud we did it. The players liked it, and possibly, we will try to run it again next year."
The excitement doesn't stop with the Illinois State Championship. The upcoming calendar of table tennis state events promises more thrilling action. The next scheduled State Championship Events are the 2023 USATT California State Championship at Table Tennis America in Fremont, CA, and 2023 USATT Virginia State Championships in Newport News, VA over October 7th weekend followed by the USATT North Carolina State Championship, hosted by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in October 20-22.
The 2023 USATT Illinois State Championship was not just a competition but a celebration of table tennis, bringing together players and fans to enjoy the sport they love. With such enthusiasm and talent on display, the future of table tennis in Illinois looks bright, and the state can look forward to many more memorable championships in the years to come