Marines hold their own against Kin Town club in table tennis tournament

Marines hold their own against Kin Town club in table tennis tournament

by Pfc. Donald T. Peterson
Okinawa Marine Staff

KIN TOWN, Okinawa - The sharp tap of a plastic ball hitting the table is quickly followed by a quick, snapping sound, as the small white pingpong ball is batted across the table just barely clearing the net.

Marines and sailors gave it their all in a friendly table tennis tournament against the Kin Town Table Tennis Club Feb. 15 at the Kin Town Education Center Gym.

“A group of Marines and sailors with Combat Logistics Regiment 3, Combat Logistics Battalion 4 and 9th Engineer Support Battalion have been training on Wednesdays after hours to learn and better understand the game (of table tennis),” said Navy Lt. John W. Potter, the chaplain for CLR-3 and CLB-4, both with 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “They’ve played in small tournaments before with other Marines. However, I thought it would be a good idea for them to (take on) a more experienced group. Playing with the Kin Town Table Tennis Club is a great opportunity.”

The tournament started with practice matches pitting service members against club members for familiarization.

“I haven’t been playing table tennis that long,” said Lance Cpl. Bin Guo, a motor vehicle operator with CLB-4, 3rd MLG, III MEF.
“However, I do play normal tennis which really helps, but playing with the Kin Town team really showed me how much more I have to go to improve at table tennis. Their team is extremely good.”
Following the completion of the practice matches, the tournament began.

“The tournament started with five groups consisting of four players each,” said Potter.

Each competitor played against each other in separate matches. Once all four matches were complete, two more tournament brackets were created to pair similar skill levels.

“Those who placed in the top three of the four competed in another tournament to decide the number one high-level player,” said Potter. “The person who placed first in the first set of matches also played again in the lower-level matches where the third and fourth place competed against each other to decide the victor of the lower level.”

The matches waged on and on, strike after strike until only one was declared victor over all.

It came down to Potter taking on Kiyohi Igei from the Kin Town Table Tennis Club in the final match.

“The Marines and sailors are good players,” said Igei. “It was a lot of fun playing against them, and I hope to play with them again in the future.”

After a long, vigorous match, Potter was declared the victor, winning three of the five matches against Igei.

“It was a good match,” said Potter. “I play with the Kin Town team for practice quite often to help better my skills. This was not just a victory for me, but for all of us because we made new friends and that’s what matters the most.”

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