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June 3, 2014 > The Unsung Heroes of Table Tennis

The Unsung Heroes of Table Tennis

Submitted By Rajul Seth

Two Bay Area table tennis players were chosen to compete in this yearÕs second Youth Olympic Games to be held in Nanjing, China. The two exceptionally talented youngsters are 17-year-old Lily Zhang and 14-year-old Krishnateja Avvari. Both of them are under the care of the India Community Center in Milpitas.

Zhang definitely has ample experience as she also competed in the 2012 London Olympics. Just like Avvari, this will be her first time joining the Youth Olympics in China. The ecstatic Zhang says, ÒItÕs definitely really exciting. ItÕs the second Youth Olympics ever so IÕm really honored to be able to compete in that. IÕm really hoping that I can reach my goal Ð hopefully a medal for the U.S.Ó

She started playing when she was age 7 at a Stanford laundry room in Palo Alto. A few lessons and tournaments later, she gained enough confidence to partake in the sport competitively. Looking back at her experience from the London Olympics, she says, ÒIt was definitely one of the best experiences of my life, and it was such a humbling moment to be with all the U.S. athletes and be part of something that I hope our country is proud of.Ó

Unlike Zhang, who started elsewhere before training at ICC, Avvari has been playing at ICC for the past eight years. The training is rigorous especially since they are about to start their out-of-town training and tournaments in June. Avvari says of the sport, ÒIt teaches good values, good sportsmanship skills.Ó

The 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics will be held from August 16 to August 28.

For more information about ICC Table Tennis, visit: www.indiacc.org/tabletennis

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