Ray Pestridge article from the Tulsa World
Training nets 2 gold medals at 74
Ray Pestridge of Stillwater practices table tennis
recently at Bixby Community Center. Pestridge won two gold
medals at the Summer National Senior Games. JAMES GIBBARD /
By AMANDA BLAND World Staff Writer
Published: 7/18/2011 2:22 AM
Last Modified: 7/18/2011 2:39
Ray Pestridge of Stillwater drives about 140 miles at
least two or three times a week to train in Tulsa.
74-year-old comes at the ready in gym shorts and a loose-fitting
T-shirt to test his hand-eye coordination and strategies, and
those of his opponents, with some fast-paced table tennis.
The sweat on Bob Kyker's brow shows the physical and mental
demands of table tennis and of playing against Pestridge.
And though Pestridge describes himself as a passive
player, Kyker said Pestridge destroyed the competition at the
2011 Summer National Senior Games.
At one point,
Pestridge led one opponent by seven points, a sizable lead in
the sport. First to 11 points wins.
He won the singles
gold medal for his age division at the games, which were June
16-30 in Houston.
Then, with the help of partner
Glendale Markwell of Meeker, he also brought home a doubles
"It feels really neat to win," Pestridge
said. "It doesn't happen very often that you're able to win two
Pestridge is a USA Table Tennis and
International Table Tennis Federation-certified coach. Kyker, of
Tulsa, is his student.
Fifty years experience with the
sport is part of Pestridge's advantage.
He grew up in
England and began playing competitively at 16.
It was a
local league, and in the beginning, they lost every game, he
said during one of the Tulsa Table Tennis Club's weekly
practices at the Dawson Community Center, 2035 N. Kingston
Place, on Monday.
He's competed off and on through the
years but joined the club last year to prepare for this year's
He placed in state competition, which
qualified him to participate in the national games.
Qualifying individuals age 50 or older participate in the
National Senior Games, which include sports such as horseshoes,
swimming, basketball and archery.
More than 10,000
competed in this year's games, Pestridge said.
from this Tulsa World article at
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