PLANO - Some of the top table tennis players in the country are competing in Plano this weekend. On Friday, News 8 traveled to Plano to take a look at all the preparations for the 2012 National Collegiate Table Tennis Championships. The Tournament features more than 50 colleges and universities in various singles, doubles and team events.
News 8 has found Plano is actually a hotbed for young talented players, including eight-year-old child prodigy Kelly Zhao, who met with us Friday morning. Just for fun, News 8 matched Zhao up to play against several members of the Table Tennis team from Texas Wesleyan University, a traditionally strong team. Zhao held her own, and from the looks of it, we might end up seeing her in the championship one day!
“"It's fun to play and it's also good exercise,” Zhao, a third grader who has been playing for more than two years, said. “I was in an after-school program, and had a coach teaching there, and I thought it would be really fun to play."
"It's not the biggest sport in the U.S. right now, so I want to promote it as much as I can,” Mark Hazinski, last year’s Men’s Collegiate National Champion and current assistant coach for Texas Wesleyan University’s team, explained about Table Tennis. “Teaching young kids is really fun for me, and to really watch them grow as players, it's an amazing experience."
The tournament runs through Sunday at Plano Sports Authority "Two" -- on Seabrook Drive. Single day passes are five bucks at the door for adults, four bucks for students and seniors. Competition each day starts at 8:50 a.m.