National table tennis tournament bounces back to Laguna Woods – Orange County Register

The top senior players in table tennis return to Laguna Woods Village on Thursday, June 1 for the Meiklejohn National Seniors Table Tennis Tournament’s 27th year.

Fans and looky-loos alike can enjoy table tennis players such as Yanjun Gao, ranked 10th nationally, and Shaw Cheng, Laguna Woods’ own “best player,” said Raymond Landis, Table Tennis Club past president.

“I think seeing any sport played at the highest level is just an incredible experience,” Landis said.

This year’s tournament will take place at 9 a.m. daily Thursday, June 1 through Sunday, June 4 at Clubhouse Five. Admission is free to anyone who wants to observe. There will be an estimated 230 players competing in the 30 events, ranging in skill level and age bracket, Landis said.

More than 40 table tennis players in this year’s tournament are rated 2,000 or higher, out of a possible 3,000, Landis said, with the top player at 2,550.

There are 24 Laguna Woods Village residents who are competing, he added.

“This is the only traditional table tennis tournament in the U.S. that is ongoing for seniors, and every sport has its age of what is considered a senior,” Landis said. “For table tennis it’s 40, so the tournament is for everybody over 40.”

One of the best aspects of table tennis, Landis said, is that it is a more accessible sport for seniors, especially those 90 and older.

“It’s kind of a unique tournament,” he said, adding that Laguna Woods residents account for many in the older age brackets.

Last year, resident and lifelong table tennis…

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