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    Sunday, December 16, 2018-11:53:24P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Farewell games tonight with NMI’s top ping pong player

NMI’S top table tennis player, Jean Shi is hosting Ping Pong Touch at 6 p.m. tonight to give members of the island community a chance to experience the indoor game.

Jean Shi prepares to hit a serve in the final round of the Northern Marianas Table Tennis Federation qualifying tournament for 2018 Micronesian Games, held at the Gilbert C. Ada Gym earlier this year. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

To be held at the Gilbert C. Ada Gym, the ping pong ‘farewell’ party is Shi’s way of thanking the people of the island he called home for 25 years.

Everyone is invited.

Budhi Gurung, one of the officers of Saipan table tennis group said the time has come for Jean, to say good bye to all ping pong players in the CNMI and Guam.

“She is leaving Saipan for California where her husband and two grown up sons have been living for the past five years,” Gurung said.

Jean started playing ping pong at a very young age.

While she was in Grade 6, she became all-school champion in her region in China. At the age of 13, she became a district champion, and in college, she represented her team in ping pong competitions and helped win the championship title.

She moved to Saipan in 1993 and played in CNMI Ping Pong Championship in 1994 beating all the male players including those from the Guam National Team.

She became busy with her family members for few years before she came back to win the Micronesian Games 2006 here on Saipan and became champion in women’s team.

Jean joined Saipan Team in several goodwill tournaments against Tinian, Saipan Korean team and Japanese professional teams.

She is still very active and strong in ping pong  and her great desire is to participate in the tournament in New Calodania, Tahiti, Fiji and Kiribati once CNMI includes table Tennis in South Pacific Mini Games that Saipan will host in 2021.

“We are very fortunate to play against several strong players from Japan, China and Korea from time to time. We do still remember when Abe San, bronze medalist in World Cup Table Tennis from Japan participated in our tournament on Tinian in 2013,” Gurung said.

“Despite Abe San’s age, It was not easy for us to beat him because of his professional training that he received makes him still very strong. The same thing goes to Jean when the time comes when she will participate in women’[s single team in SPG Mini Game. Jean will prove how strong she is competing with young strong girls from Fiji, New Caledonia and Tahiti,” he added.