Posted: 01-23-2014
The 5th Port City Ping Pong Throwdown

By: Jenna Wesner

The 5th Port City Ping-Pong Throwdown was another spirited and shining example of the magic of table tennis. On January 23, an otherwise ordinary Friday night became a thoroughly awesome evening of fun and family and community and ping pong pandemonium!

The Throwdown is a double elimination event, meaning every player—ages 7 to 70—is guaranteed two matches—and many players compete in a whole lot more than that. With a total purse of more than $600 and two divisions of play, there were six players who took home prize money. Whether playing for fun (B Division) or playing for keeps (A Division), it didn’t matter which one you signed up for—as usual, the competition was stiff across the board. To prove that point, there have been no repeat winners in either division in any of the tournaments, including this one.


Yes, yes, concerts, weddings, fundraisers, flea markets, art shows...the truth seems to be that the beautiful Brooklyn Arts Center is perfect for ping pong. All the venue details are taken care of by the BAC to ensure a wonderful evening of table tennis...and the Wilmington Table Tennis Club takes care of the rest.

Table Tennis Club President Laurence Nadeau and his brother, Phillip, run the Throwdown with grace and ease. At smaller tournaments—with 30 or fewer players—the wait time for game time can often be grueling. Yet with 80-plus players at the BAC, the pace is quick and fun and fantastic. The Nadeaus and their table tennis staff do a smashing job each time, every time.

Tim Connelly, Southeastern North Carolina’s biggest promoter of table tennis over the past 25 years, said “Having personally played in more than 60 table tennis tournaments, I can tell you that I've never played in a tournament anything like the Throwdown. There’s a festive feel to it. You compete hard, but it's still a lot of fun.” This time around, Connelly won the A Division (by making a sweet comeback against Matt Martinez), and Peter Van Drumpt won the B Division in a similar fashion.

But the truth is that Wilmington and the sport of table tennis were the big winners in Brooklyn.


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