The hands of Sean O'Neill are carefully looked after by his personal table tennis coach.
O'Neill is one of more than 150 Washington, D.C., area athletes at the National Sports Festival, and so far he is perhaps the most successful. In Saturday's team competition, the 17-year-old from Vienna, Va., went unbeaten in eight matches to help the East team to the gold medal. In today's individual round-robin tournament, he won three matches without losing a game.
O'Neill, who plans to attend George Washington in the fall, does not have just any ordinary coach. Chartchai Teekaveerakit, an 18-year-old exchange student who is living with O'Neill's family, is the men's champion of Thailand.
"I think I'm a heavy favorite," he said. "I'm not afraid of anybody here. They're more afraid of me. I'd have to say I'd be disappointed if I lose."
Eleni Rossides of Washington, D.C., top-seeded in the women's tennis tournament, reached the semifinals, 6-4, 6-2, over Jana Garrison of Denham Springs, La.
Danny Ferry of DeMatha High School scored eight points and got four rebounds in the East's 75-71 loss to the South in men's basketball.
Cajetan Pereira of Rockville, Md., scored a goal as his East field hockey team defeated the West, 3-0.
Cyclist Ellen Braun of Arlington, Va., won both of her heats in the women's sprint semifinals.
Tony Leone of Arlington received the silver medal in the men's free rifle competition, hitting 1,159 of 1,200 targets. In English match shooting, Web Wright III of Annapolis, Md., won a gold.
In swimming, Pam Franklin of Upper Marlboro, Md., won the 400-meter individual medley in 5:02.37.
In judo, Tina Stump of Baltimore won the gold in the 158-pound class.
Barbara Wickstrand of Fairfax, Va., had four saves to help the South beat the East, 1-0, in women's soccer.
Other area finishers in the track and field competition: Carl Schueler of Silver Spring, Md., first in the 30-kilometer walk (2:23:36); Matt Centrowitz of Falls Church, Va., second in the 5,000 meters (13:55.42); Ray Humphrey of Georgetown University, seventh in the triple jump (51-4 1/2).