I played table tennis with an Olympian

Just had a moment to remember. For my latest exploration of lesser-known Olympic sports, I went to the India Community Center table tennis gym in Milpitas. I picked that gym because it produced three of the four athletes the U.S. is going to send to the Olympics in table tennis — a pretty impressive feat for something in our backyard.

The gym founder, Rajul Sheth, told me the Olympians wouldn’t be in the gym until July 7 because they would be out practicing and competing. However, when I entered the gym, there were just two athletes playing and they obviously were very good. I turns out that one was 16-year-old Olympian Ariel Hsing, whom I’ve been following since she first looked like an Olympic candidate three or four years ago.

A crew from CNN was there doing a story on her — supposed to be out in July, I’ll get details as they come — but I managed to sneak in an interview and even go toe-to-toe with her over the table. I’m no expert, but judging by the speed she sent some of those balls over, she’s very good. Sheth says she’s shooting for making the Round of 32 this year, but in Rio 2016 will be shooting for a medal.

Kevin Johnson captured it all on film and video, and you’ll be able to check it out during one of my regular Friday columns in the Sentinel and online at http://www.santacruzsentinel.com.

Categories: Olympic Preparation, Olympics | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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