The Dragon Tournament received its joint-highest number of competitors ever this Sunday as the February edition of the monthly event took over Cardiff City Table Tennis Club once again. This junior competition, organised by Table Tennis Wales, is open to all members of Welsh table tennis clubs under the age of 15. Eighteen players across the four age categories listed Cardiff City TTC as their home club on their entry form, and there were triumphs for our young members throughout the day.
December’s champion Felix Bockelmann-Evans returned to the competition in February to claim his second trophy in only two entries to the competition. Felix’s amazing second victory in the tournament’s youngest category means that he will be progressing early into the under 11s; since the rules of the Dragon dictate that once a player has won two titles in the same category, they must then be moved into a higher age group so to challenge the player and to keep the younger categories competitive.
Elsewhere in the under 9s, Morgan Howard kept up his consistent progression up the final standings by clinching second place while Toby Harwood completed a one-two -three of Cardiff City players in the top spots as he finished in third.
There were no club members in the under 11s category this month, with last month’s champion Kavin Durai having now grown into an under 13. Llangan Primary’s Evan O’Connor, who came second in last month’s competition, confidently seized his opportunity in February and came away with his first trophy in the under 11s category.
Kavin Durai was meanwhile proving his ability to compete well in the under 13s with an accomplished third place finish for the player. Another club member would take home the overall under 13s trophy, however, as Anthony Fazio celebrated his first entry into the Dragon Tournament this season with a win in the under 13s and a strong fifth-placed finished in the under 15s.
Anthony has been receiving one-on-one lessons in the club from Coach Lloyd Gregory, who later said of the player “he’s improved a lot this season, especially with his back hand. One good thing about Anthony is that he’s really motivated by the older players around him; he’s only eleven, but he wants to beat all of them.”
Ben Lam was another club member who demonstrated how a top young player introduces themselves in a new category. Having been fourth-placed in the under 13s in January, Ben was February’s runner-up in his very first appearance in the under 15s. He was held off the top spot only by Hereford’s Green Farm TTC player Jake Price.
The popularity of the Dragon continues to grow, with the quality of play on offer improving every month. However, the competition remains open to all abilities and the style of the highly inclusive event remains a great way to ease young players into competitive table tennis and to help them improve.
If you or someone you know would like to take part in the Dragon you can pick up an entry form from within the club or click here to go to the Table Tennis Wales website.
The full results of the Dragon can be found below.