Former Marylander Crystal Wang reaches North American table tennis trials

A former Marylander is one step closer to fulfilling her goal of reaching the Olympics in table tennis.

Teenagers Crystal Wang and Kanak Jha won qualifying tournaments Saturday night on the final day of the U.S. Open table tennis trials, putting them into position to compete for Olympic berths.

Wang, a 13-year-old from Bellevue, Wash., who used to live in Boyds and attend Roberto Clemente Middle School, won the last women's final by beating Angela Guan, 13-11, 11-1, 11-9, 7-11, 12-10.

Wang, who used to train at the Maryland Table Tennis Center in Gaithersburg, was down 9-6 in the fifth set and scored three points in a row to tie the score at 9. She missed a shot to go down game point at 10-9 but scored the last three in a row to close out the match.

Jha, a 15-year-old from Milpitas, Calif., won the men's final with a 14-12, 12-14, 6-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7 victory over Krish Avvari.

They advance to the North American Trials, which will be held in April in Markham, Ontario.

Four of the six players advancing this weekend are teenagers.

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