The Vermont Senior Games Table Tennis tournament drew a nice field on Saturday September 21, 2019 at the Shelburne Town Gym, and those earning tourney titles certainly had to prove both their skills and stamina.
Long-time tournament directors Bruce Kline and John Bolton set up two large, nine-player round-robin pools for the singles competitions. With table tennis matches decided on a best-of-five basis, players faced a hefty list of opponents over the course of several hours. Robert Coleburn of Ferrisburg found himself playing 34 games in the singles, with South Burlington’s Irina Polandova tallying 33 games.
While smaller, the doubles bracket was still a six-team round-robin, so athletes entering both events were really challenged over the course of the competitions. Polandova earned the distinction of completing the most games on the day, totaling 52 games of table tennis!
The most veteran player, soon-to-be 89-year old Stig Albertsson hailing from East Dorset, Vermont, battled through 11 matches (spared a few owing to some withdrawals during the event). Stig exemplifies the concept of a veteran athlete, explaining, “I started playing 81 years ago, back when I was young, before the war, in Sweden.” That’s an experienced player!
Stig was among an impressive group of double medalists in the tournament, earning golds in both the singles and the doubles.
In the singles brackets, two athletes especially stood out. John Bolton from South Burlington went undefeated in Pool # 1, dropping only a single game to Richard Bounds. In Pool # 2, Berlin, Vermont resident Steve Adams matched Bolton’s feat, winning every match while losing a mere one game to Hank Puding of Redford, NY.
The doubles competition was super intense, with the overall crown going to Bounds and his partner Jack DeVine from Ferrisburg. Yet Bounds and Devine had to seriously work for it, besting both the teams of Bolton / Kline and Adams / Arlen Bloodworth in tight matches.
On the day, double-medal winners were:
- Women, 55-59: Irina Polandova (2 golds)
- Men, 50-54: John Bolton (1 gold, 1 silver); Richard Bounds (1 gold, 1 silver); Taras Lakoba (1 gold, 1 bronze)
- Men 70-74: Steve Adams (2 golds); Arlen Bloodworth (1 gold, 1 silver); Bruce Kline (1 silver, 1 bronze)
- Men 75-79: Jack DeVine (2 golds); Bob Onne (1 gold, 1 silver)
- Men 80-84: Hank Puding (1 gold, 1 silver)
- Men 85-89: Stig Albertsson (2 golds)
A complete list of medal winners and match results are attached.