The National, Friday October 11th, 2013
Geoffrey Rea Loi, 13, was the surprise of the Papua New Guinea National Table Tennis Championship last week, ousting favourite Jackson Kariko 3-2 in the open men’s division.
At the Filipino Association of PNG Hall at Gordon’s, Loi, pictured, beat the much more experienced Kariko to snatch the top honour.
In the semi-finals the country’s top player, David Loi was toppled by Kariko and the younger Loi upset former Indian national player Arun Rao to qualify for the grand final.
It was day of misery for David Loi, Agari Agari, Gasika Sepa, Arua Morea, Doura Leo and Brian Gavera – members of PNG’s elite and training squad – who watched the talented teenagers go from strength to strength in the last three sets to bag the major tag.
The grade eight student of Tubusereia Primary School was impressive.
It was a treble for him as he beat Nao Agari 3-0 in the U15 grade and combined with his elder brother David to beat fellow Tubusereians Bobby Trudi and Iubu Noi in the doubles.
The women’s open was an all Tubusereia affair with Samantha Loi stopping cousin Maryanne Loi.
In the U12 boys, Hanuabada’s Boe Uru was handed the award on a silver platter after Neil Robert failed to show.
In the U15 girls, Geru Lohia beat Tausala Lahui, while in the U18 boys David Loi stopped younger brother Geoffrey and in the girls Loma Chris tamed Dia Morea.
In the U21 boys David Loi took sweet revenge over Kariko, while the girls division saw Geru Lohia edging Leah Taeu. The junior girls double was won by Geru Lohia and Loma Chris over Taru and Morea.
PNG Table Tennis Federation president Moses Tolinling was impressed with the standard of the competition.