East edged out London to take the Tonge Trophy for the best performing team at the Inter-Regional Championships at the weekend.

With 12 team and individual competitions across three age groups, it was a busy weekend at WV Active in Wolverhampton, and the overall standings went down to the wire, with East finally overhauling London by 158 points to 153. West Midlands took third on 126 points.

It was Sunday’s individual event which made the difference for the East team as they won three of the six gold medals on offer, having been behind London after the first day’s team competitions.

Pictured above are East’s Lewis Wu and Hannah Saunders receiving the Tong Trophy from Ken Tonge and Karen Tonge OBE.

Final Tonge Trophy standings

1 East, 2 London, 3 West Midlands, 4 Southern, 5 East Midlands, 6 North East, 7 North West, 8 Yorkshire, 9 South East, 10 South West

Team events

The competition began with the group stage, with teams then playing off for position according to the finishing order in the groups.

The under-11 finals were the closest as both resulted in 3-2 victories – East beating West Midlands to take the girls’ gold and London defeating East in the boys’ competition.

London twice came from behind to win the boys’ title, with the final two matches both going the distance.

Zihan Lin put East in front by defeating Zaid Aldilimi, but Sinan Surensoy levelled against Lewis Wu. The doubles went the way of East, but Surensoy then came from 2-1 down to beat Lin 3-2 (11-6, 4-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8) to again level the score. It was left to Aldilimi to battle past a resilient Wu 3-2 (9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 12-14, 11-7) to clinch it for London.

The winning London team with Table Tennis England Director Ritchie Venner

In the girls’ competition, Amber Lemmon put East in front, but Charlotte Wong levelled. East won the doubles, but once again West Midlands hit back as Wong defeated Lemmon from 2-0 down, winning it 3-2 (7-11, 7-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-7). Hannah Saunders then put East in front for the third and decisive time, with victory over Hazel Lam.

The U11 Girls champions

London won their second team title in the under-13 boys’ event as Oscar Nikoli and Parsia Ahsani won both singles matches against Southern’s Ethan Zeng and Henry Fung respectively. They then combined to take the doubles for a 3-0 victory.

The Under-13 Boys champions

In the girls, it was 3-1 to East Midlands against North East, who took a 2-0 lead as Catherine Lv and Millie Ufton defeated Dorian Cheung and Lucy Jones respectively.

North East hit back as Cheung & Faye Langley took the doubles against Jessica Tansur & Jessica Larkin, but Lv overcame Jones to seal victory.

The winning East Midlands squad

In the under-15s, Southern took the title with a 3-1 victory over Yorkshire. They won the opening two singles matches as Gene Lam beat Mia Longman in five and Diane Chan defeated Anisha Kant.

Yorkshire kept themselves in contention by winning the doubles, but Lam completed the victory for Southern by defeating Kant.

The winning Southern squad

The boys’ event saw West Midlands take on North East and it was a 3-0 win for the former as Will Hopkins and Wajid Wafiq won their opening singles against Jack Hodgson and Zac Greenhough and then combined to take the doubles.

The Under-15 Boys winners
Finishing orders

U11 Girls: 1 East, 2 West Midlands, 3 London, 4 East Midlands, 5 Southern, 6 Yorkshire, 7 North West, 8 North East

U11 Boys: 1 London, 2 East, 3 East Midlands, 4 Southern, 5 North West, 6 Yorkshire, 7 South East, 8 West Midlands, 9 North East

U13 Girls: 1 East Midlands, 2 North East, 3 London , 4 East, 5 West Midlands, 6 North West

U13 Boys: 1 London, 2 Southern, 3 East, 4 South West, 5 South East, 6 West Midlands, 7 North West, 8 East Midlands, 9 North East

U15 Girls: 1 Southern, 2 Yorkshire, 3 West Midlands, 4 East Midlands, 5 South East, 6 London, 7 North West, 8 East, 9 North East

U15 Boys: 1 West Midlands, 2 North East, 3 Southern, 4 London, 5 North West, 6 East Midlands, 7 South East, 8 Yorkshire, 9 East, 10 South West

Individual events

East’s quest to overhaul London on day two was bolstered by victories in both under-11 competitions.

Lewis Wu took the boys’ title with a 3-0 (11-9, 11-3, 11-7) victory over his team-mate Lihan Zin, having beaten another East colleague, Dimitar Dimitrov, in the semi-finals. Sinan Surensoy of London was the other beaten semi-finalist.

Lewis Wu receives his medal from Table Tennis England Director Ritchie Venner

The girls’ title was claimed by Hannah Saunders, and it was again an all-East affair as she triumphed 3-1 (9-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-9) over team-mate Amber Lemmon.

The was a bronze for East as well, with Cindy Xiao losing out to Lemmon in the semi-finals, while West Midlands’ Charlotte Wong took the other bronze, losing out in four to Saunders.

Gold medallist Hannah Saunders

East claimed their third title in the under-13 boys’ competition, and there were some terrific tussles in the medal matches.

Charles Donald ultimately took the gold with a 3-1 (11-8, 10-12, 11-5, 11-6) victory over Ethan Zeng (Southern) in the final, but it was the two semi-finals which really stood out.

Donald came through the bottom half of the draw with a 3-2 (6-11, 14-12, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6) win over Theo Kniep (Southern), while Zeng fought back from 2-0 down to get past South West’s Jake Davidson 3-2 (9-11, 3-1, 11-8, 11-6, 11-4) in the top half.

Champion Charles Donald

There was a five-game final in the girls’ competition in the same age group, and it was Chuanyu Cheng of West Midlands who came out on top, by a scoreline of 3-2 (3-11, 11-7, 15-13, 9-11, 11-9) against South East’s Lok You Lam.

The two semi-finals were decided in three as Cheng defeated Millie Ufton (East Midlands) and Lam beat Zoe Gonpot (London).

Champion Chuanyu Cheng

Wajid Wafiq of West Midlands beat Zac Greenhough of North East to win the under-15 boys’ title, but he did it the hard way with some protracted battles along the way.

In the quarter-finals, he defeated Will Hopkins (West Midlands) 3-2 (11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10) and he followed up with a 3-1 (5-11, 11-7, 11-6, 19-17) win over Louis Cheung-Turner of North West in the semi-finals.

In the final, it was again 3-1 against defending champion Greenhough, with Wafiq coming out on top 3-1 (7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 15-13).

Greenhough progressed through his semi-final with a victory in three straight over Prayrit Ahluwalia of Southern.

Wajid Wafiq, the U15 Boys champion

The girls’ competition was a little more straightforward in comparison as Mia Longman took gold for Yorkshire with a 3-0 (11-8, 11-4, 11-7) victory over Millie Noble of East Midlands. Longman beat Southern’s Gene Lam in the semi-finals, while Noble overcame Agnes Liu of West Midlands, both in four.

U15 Girls champion Mia Longman