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Bio Statement FL"Just in Queens could Somebody like me Locate a partner like Him," Tahl Leibovitz stated because he unpacked his paddles in the Friendship Ping pong Center, a second-story distance nestled among automobile repair stores on Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing. Mr. Leibovitz was talking of his doubles partner, Yanjun Gao. Last month at Wisconsin, both put second in men's doubles in the College Ping pong National Championships, and Mr. Gao won the men's single branch name.

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They play the game such as longtime dance partners, using an Uncanny anticipation of one another's moves. However they come from vastly different backgrounds which exemplify New York's diversity. Mr. Leibovitz, 34, is a street-savvy, fast-talking guy using a hard-knock upbringing, who started playing Ping-Pong in the South Queens Boys and Girls Club when he was a homeless adolescent, sleeping in metro stations. Mr. Gao, 32, a considerate Chinese immigrant who speaks broken English, started playing by age 7 and got a berth on the junior national group for a teen.

Mr. Gao, muscular and lean, seems created for the match, with Extended limbs and lightning reflexes (he played with 2 years in Germany before going to Flushing in 2007). Mr. Leibovitz wins regardless of his entire body, which is plagued with a degenerative bone disorder that limits movement and creates playing debilitating. He's got a waddle into his walk and his arms have a shorter reach.

Mr. Gao is married into a Chinese immigrant who functions as an Attorney in Manhattan. He teaches lessons in the Friendship club for about $ 80 an hour. Mr. Leibovitz is the lead singer for a rock group named Dead Sunday and instructs ping pong in Spin New York at Manhattan.

About the only attribute the guys talk about is that they both attend City schools in Queens - Mr. Gao is a computer science major at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City and Mr. Leibovitz attends Queens College. Each plays Ping-Pong because of his respective faculty.


But it is their athletic gaps Which Make the guys a Catastrophic duo. Mr. Gao has the capacity to crush functions and cross-court volleys. Mr. Leibovitz has an infuriating finesse sport which handcuffs opponents close to the internet. He's just like a fighter who favors the clutch. To expand his reach, he always shifts his grip on the paddle - for instance, extending it to his palms to field brief lobs.

As they competed in the club lately - alternating strikes, as Dictated by the principles of doubles - their complementary fashions stood out. Mr. Leibovitz struck on his tight spinners, while Mr. Gao hung and teed off extended arcing shots that somehow discovered that the table border. Mr. Leibovitz was wrist; Mr. Gao ripped into the chunk in the bottoms of the feet.

When functioning, every flashed hand indicates under the table to Another, like a baseball, to indicate his next function - the backspin fall shot, the sidespin curve-away or the right forward slam - and also help determine the kind of return the competitor would likely strike.

Both guys danced a Ping-Pong pas de deux that let one To strike the ball and immediately peel away to spare another for another volley. Here is the character of doubles ping pong: seamless ensemble footwork along with a prescience concerning another return, which means it's possible to leave your teammate space to perform it.

A flow of banter lubricated their drama. When Mr. Gao had been Compelled to lunge for many slams, he explained to their competitions concerning Mr. Leibovitz: "He is lazy. Make him run."

Mr. Leibovitz said about Mr. Gao, "He is the energy guy - that I Let him manage the hard ones."

"He always speak a lot," Mr. Gao said

"Yeah, Gao, you are the best, most of us understand it," Mr. Leibovitz retorted

This really is their odd-couple shtick: Mr. Leibovitz's wisecracks Are often self-deprecating, while Mr. Gao informs Mr. Leibovitz the Mr. Gao is broadly regarded as the best player in town, and one of the finest in the nation.

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Still, There's a warmth " The only way we would have crossed paths was via ping pong," Mr. Leibovitz said. He then looked at Mr. Gao, and they laughed in the Inevitable impending wisecrack. " Obviously, why else would we have desired to cross paths?" This can be a more comprehensive version of the narrative than the one that appeared in print