Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Teen table tennis prodigy Zhang meets match at Youth Olympics trials

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FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD table tennis phenom Terry Zhang, of Winnipeg, had quite the eye-opening experience Feb. 1-3, when he went up against the big boys in San Salvador, El Salvador, at the Americas trials for the 2010 Youth Olympics, to be held in Singapore this August.

Zhang qualified on Dec. 20 by winning the Canadian championship in Montreal.

Nearly unbeatable in Canada, he found himself behind the eight ball in San Salvador, when he lost his first match to Brand Echevarria of Peru 4-3 (6-11,13-11,2-11,11-8,12-10,7-11,9-77). He rebounded in his second game to beat Orell Cooper (Trinidad & Tobago) 4-0, (11-1,11-1,11-7,11-7), but then lost his next two matches, and finished out of the medals.

"I learned that I need to work more on my footwork," Zhang said. "After the first two games, I found I didn't have enough power. I will need to run more (to build up the legs)."

Zhang, who came to Canada with his family in 2003 from Shandong, China, has already won four Canadian singles championships -- 2004, '05, '06 and '07. He was injured last year, so he only finished second. He also represented Canada in 2008 at World Cadet Challenge in Sweden.

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Manitoba Curling Hall of Famer Norm Houck died Monday at Hamiota District Health Centre at the age of 76.

Curling out of the Strathcona club in 1962, Houck won the Manitoba men's championship but lost in a three-way Brier playoff, which was eventually won by Ernie Richardson over Hec Gervais.

An honourary member of the MCA, Houck also won four Manitoba senior titles (two as a skip in 1986 and '87 and two playing third for Jim Ursel in 1990 and '91). The latter two teams, which included Henry Kroeger and John Helston, were inducted into the MCHF in 2007,

Houck, inducted into the Hall in 1990 as a curler, also won two Manitoba Masters championships as a skip in 1998 and '99.

Funeral services are pending. For further information, contact Campbell Funeral Home in Hamiota at 1-204-764-2744.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 18, 2010 C10

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