Ping-Pong bounces back into action at Wright-Patt

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class James Johnson
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Ping-Pong is “back by popular demand,” an 88th Force Support Squadron event organizer said earlier this month.

The year’s second tournament took place Aug. 11 at Wright Field Fitness Center, where 16 competitors participated in a double-elimination bracket.

Taking first place was Ren Murakami, an intern at the Air Force Institute of Technology.

Murakami has competed all over Japan and China, and school was a big part of his path to Ping-Pong.

“In some schools in Japan, it’s mandatory to do some kind of sport or extracurricular activity and I picked table tennis because I was already playing it,” he said. “I started playing when I was 8 or 9 but have been competing for 10 years.”

In the finals, Murakami earned a hard-fought win over Louis Vance, 88th Mission Support Group deputy director.

“I was so nervous,” Murakami said. “During the game, it was getting hard to focus, but I changed my serve and readied myself. I didn’t want to let him get any matches on me.”

The two aren’t strangers on the Ping-Pong table. Both Murakami and Vance are part of the Dayton Table Tennis Club.

“The tournament was great and a lot of fun,” Vance said.

Vance has played Ping-Pong for 40 years and competed against national players in South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, England and the United Arab Emirates.

“Our first singles tournament was in April,” said Nicole Tuller, who organized the event for 88 FSS. “This was our second time hosting it because it was back by popular demand.”

Wright Field Fitness Center holds many other events and classes throughout the year to promote fitness and health.

“We offer such a wide variety of sports and fitness events,” she added. “We have something for everyone.”

Upcoming events at the fitness center include: “Challenge Fridays” that feature recurring Ping-Pong and racquetball tournaments and the 2022 Sprint Triathlon on Sept. 10.

Wright Field Fitness Center also hosts a variety of classes such as yoga and indoor cycling every Tuesday and Thursday, and a combination of body weight and fitness accessory exercises as part of its “Battle Fit” class every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

For more information and where to look for upcoming events, visit