January 7, 1988 |
The streets near Compton are a long way from Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo, Budapest and other places where table tennis is a major sport. But nestled on one of those streets near the western edge of town is the home of James D. West, who assembles customized paddles that have earned him a loyal following among Southern California's circle of about 500 serious table tennis players. "I would like to feel it's because I'm good," West said.
July 13, 1992 |
The men, led by Attila Malek of Costa Mesa, got their revenge at the National Seniors Open table tennis tournament Sunday at Leisure World. After 11-time U.S. women's champion Insook Bhushan won the over 40 Open title against a predominantly male field Saturday, there was plenty of good-natured ribbing going on between the sexes as Sunday's over 30 Open semifinals approached. The over 30 semis featured Bhushan against Malek and Alhambra's Wei Wang, the 1990 U.S.
July 31, 1985 |
Trying to distinguish between the Gee twins has become the unofficial board game of Sports Festival VI. "Lisa is the one with her ears pierced," whispers a lady spectator. "No, now, let me think . . . I'm sorry, I don't want to steer you wrong. I better not say." A man, overhearing the conversation, chimes in: "No it's easy. Lisa wears her hair parted to the left." "No," rejoined the woman. "I was told Lisa has red shoes, and Diana the white. So that hair thing doesn't make sense at all.
June 6, 1997 |
Table tennis might never reach a critical mass of popularity in this country, but Jimmy Jones is certainly sold. In fact Jones and his wife, Joanne, sold their Sherman Oaks home and moved to Leisure World so he could satisfy his desire to play the sport. He even went under the knife to improve his table tennis game. After living for 12 years with double vision caused by a detached retina, Jones had the problem repaired surgically in December. The bouncing ball is no longer plural.
July 27, 1996 |
Pingpong, the game Forrest Gump helped make famous, is played by more than 60 million in China. Here, at the Centennial Olympic Games, it is called table tennis and has crowds cheering the bouncing 1 1/2-inch orange celluloid ball. Merely getting in to watch is a challenge. On the doors outside Hall D at the World Congress Center are signs that read: "Please observe this is an air-lock door." Only a small number of people at a time are allowed through the first set of doors.
June 27, 1994 |
After easily dispatching each opponent all day, Dan Seemiller was pressed to his limits in the five-game final match of the National Seniors Open table tennis tournament Sunday at Leisure World. Seemiller, a five-time national champion from Pittsburgh playing in his first seniors event, trailed Atilla Malek, 13-10, in the final game. "I had blown a couple of those points on little things and I thought, 'OK, if you're going to lose, don't let it be like this,' " Seemiller said.
April 21, 1985 |
A senior Soviet official charges that the United States raises higher trade barriers than any other nation in the world. The allegation was made last week at a briefing for reporters by Nikolai Smelyakov, the Soviet Union's deputy foreign trade minister. "It is very difficult to do business with the United States," Smelyakov said. "We want to work with American firms, but we're not sure even if we sign a contract that we will get deliveries."
July 4, 1994 |
In a battle of teammates, Linghui Kong defeated Liu Guoliang in straight sets to win the men's singles division of the U.S. Open Table Tennis Championships on Sunday at the Anaheim Convention Center. The sixth-seeded Kong, a member of China's national team, opened an 8-0 lead over the second-seeded Guoliang, also a member of the national team. Kong, 19, repeatedly sent smashes that forced the 18-year-old Guoliang back from the table.
August 3, 1989 |
About five years ago, Terry Timmins caught a fever he hasn't been able to shake. He has fed it religiously, but it just seems to grow hotter. Timmins, 46, has table tennis fever. When he doesn't play the sport for a week, he says he has withdrawal pangs. "If you start gravitating and turning your car to one of the 25 table tennis clubs in Southern California when you know you should be doing something else like going to work, or studying, then you've got the fever," Timmins said.
August 16, 2008 |
Anybody wanting to discover the secret of China's success at table tennis need only meet Li Zhuoming, a 10-year-old prodigy. With a paddle in his hand, he is bursting with explosive energy; off the court he is uncommonly poised for a pre-adolescent. He holds his 4-foot-11 body erect when he speaks and makes eye contact. Except when wiping the beads of sweat dripping under his crisp bush cut, he doesn't fidget. Table tennis, known as pingpang in China, isn't a game for the inattentive.