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McKENZIE (August 25) — The Second Annual Southern Fried and Sweet Tea Festival Table Tennis Tournament was held at Bethel University’s Vera Low Center Saturday.
Organized and hosted by the McKenzie Table Tennis Club, the event drew 20 players from Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi.
Chris Edlin of the McKenzie club made several big announcements before the tournament began. First, that the event is officially the highest-paying non-rated table tennis tournament in the United States. Second, that beginning next year, it will be called the Bethel University Invitational and will be held in Crisp Arena on August 24, 2019.
Edlin thanked the City of McKenzie for its part in the event, but was thrilled that Bethel has taken up the torch and would be more heavily investing in the tournament. He said that the goal is to “bring world class table tennis to McKenzie, Tennessee.”
He also announced that Everett Hunley of the Jackson Table Tennis Club had donated four tables and ten dividers to the McKenzie Table Tennis Club.
Edlin thanked four major sponsors of the event, McKenzie Banking Company, Centennial Bank, Bank of Gleason and Carroll Bank & Trust.
Bethel’s Chick-fil-A provided lunch for each player.
The first half of the tournament was five groups competing in a round-robin format. The winner of each advanced in the second half to A Division, the runner-up to B Division, and so on.
In A Division, winner Leidy Handoko won $250 and runner-up Reggie Wilson won $125.
In B Division, winner Oija Wu won $125 and runner-up Blake Crittendon won $75.
In C Division, winner Alex Klyuyenko won $100 and runner-up Nick Chappell won $50.
In D Division, winner Christian Lee won $100 and runner-up Lawrence Taylor won $50.