I played, or I should say, started to play the first 2019 National Adult Ranking tournament this past weekend in Los Angeles. This tournament means something in selecting team members for World Championships, Pan Am Games, and also the Olympic Team. I have trouble finding players my level to practice with so could not expect too much. I also had some leg swelling that limited the physical training I could do and minor arm pain where I had to limit on-the-table play.
I played 3 players on Friday and my arm pain became worse as the matches went on. I was behind 3-0, 3-2, and 3-0 in the best 4 out of 7 matches and lost 2-4, won 4-3, and lost 1-4. This means I started the matches 2-9 in games and finished 5-2 when facing elimination which matches how I have usually played. In my career, I have usually played worse when matches didn’t matter so much or took matches lightly and played better and more focused when there was more pressure.
When I woke up Saturday morning, I could not bend my arm fully without pain and had to default out of the tournament which was disappointing but I can’t have too high expectations or disappointment with limited preparation. I changed my flight and returned Saturday. This means I will not be able to play in the 2019 World Championships or Pan Am Games and there are still other tournaments left to determine the 2020 Olympic Team. I have to prepare better for future tournaments and can hopefully find a higher-level practice partner.