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2024 US Nationals: 11 players win 7 medals!

The 2024 US Nationals took the Fremont Table Tennis Academy advanced students to Huntsville, Alabama from July 3-7 for a week of excitement and overall great team bonding. All 11 students have been training this past month in the advanced summer camps and came home with 7 medals! It was overall a great experience for students to play with the top players from all parts of the US in the battle for national medals. There were 621 total players. Most students had 2-3 main events and other events were played for experience. Most students played 7-10 events over the 5-day tournament. FTTA students that went were Rohan, Tanishq, Karthik, Ryan, Mihika, Saatwik, Atharva, Jack, Akhil, Anchit, and Aditya. It was the first major tournament for Atharva, Jack, Akhil, Anchit, and Aditya. The 6 others have played at most 3 previous major tournaments so everyone is still gaining experience. All students supported each other and cheered others on when their matches were not taken place so showed great team unity. Special thanks to coach Umar Iqbal who went to his first major tournament and helped coach the kids in the matches.

Atharva Arvind would go home the big winner winning silver in U-1300 and bronze in U-1200 and U-1400.  He had many close thrilling 3-2 matches he pulled out to win his 3 medals supported by his FTTA teammates. Akhil and Anchit both struck gold in their first major tournament! Akhil won gold in U-1000 and Anchit won gold in U-1200. Adult student Jack, in his first major tournament, pulled off many upsets and won silver in adult U-1200 and bronze in adult U-1400! There were 6 medals won by FTTA on Days 3 and 4. On Day 5, the final day, Atharva won his final bronze medal. The final day was also a day of almosts and nearly better than Days 3 and 4. Ryan lost 9-11 in the 5th in the U-1600 quarterfinals so was 2 points shy of his first medal and very narrowly as well in U-1700 knockout stages. Tanishq, who has been our most successful player in the recent major tournaments winning 6 medals in the last 3 major US tournaments, was stopped just short of a medal in the quarterfinals in his two main events, the U-1900 and U-2000, as well as earlier in U-3100 doubles. Saatwik also lost in quarters of U-1400 so on the final day, we were one match away from 4 more medals. Aditya, Rohan, and Mihika pulled off many upsets and should see their ratings go up considerably.

The interesting part about Atharva’s and Anchit’s great play was they were the only FTTA students to not pull off an upset or win first place in the 2024 Newark Butterfly June Open warm-up tournament on June 22. All other Nationals students who took part in the Newark June Open pulled off a big upset and/or won first place in the June Open. Atharva left Nationals with 3 medals and Anchit won the best medal FTTA had (gold in U-1200) at the 2024 US Nationals.

A similar coincidence happened before the 2023 US Nationals in Texas. Tanishq was the only player in a warm-up tournament in Sacramento to not win 1st place (Mihika won 2nd but lost to FTTA player Karthik in a final) in the tournament but would leave the 2023 US Nationals as the big FTTA winner winning 2 gold and 1 bronze.

Overall, everyone had a great time going through the ups and downs of the Nationals as well as having victories and medals to celebrate and we are looking forward to the US Open this December in Las Vegas!

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Atharva with his happy coaches

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