ROCKFORD (WREX) – Some of the best athletes in the world are going for gold in Forest City this weekend.
The 17th Annual Team USA Table Tennis Championship takes place throughout Memorial Day weekend at the UW Health Sports Factory in downtown Rockford.
More than 200 of the world’s top table tennis players from across the United States as well as nearly two dozen countries are chasing gold and over $10,000 in cash prizes and rewards.
The competition has six divisions, featuring players ranging from rookies to Olympic and Paralympic gold medalists.
This weekend is the first time the tournament has taken place since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This tournament is for couples and teams of table tennis players, including parents who have teamed up with their children and a “United Nations” team, made up of five players born in different countries.
Tournament director and Rockford native Edward Hogshead says the team aspect of the sport can play such a big role in fun and competition.
“It’s so much better than singles because you always have someone shooting for you,” Hogshead said. “The tournament energy, you can just feel the energy, they love to play.”
The tournament championship matches will take place on Sunday afternoon.