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Table Tennis World Championship Won by Your Weird Younger Cousin

Nice kid, kind of weird.

DURBAN, South Africa - The 2023 Table Tennis World Championship saw a shocking upset this week, as the world’s top-ranked players were easily defeated by your weird little cousin, Jackson, who you’ve only ever seen lurking around your uncle’s basement ping-pong table, challenging other family members to “a duel.”

While experts predicted a superstar like Fan Zhendong or Wang Chuqin to take this year’s crown, it was the shifty and surly-looking thirteen-year-old from Orlando who prevailed.

Tournament savants credit Jackson’s unorthodox strategy, which includes refusing to make eye contact for hours on end until he asks his opponents if they’d ever seen a real-life dead body, for his surprising success.

“He honestly came out of nowhere,” said tournament director Jan van der Scholtz, while fending off questions from Jackson about the biggest crab that has ever lived. “Most players introduce themselves or speak to the media, but Jackson preferred to hover around his mother until she asked the other players if Jackson could have a turn on the table.” 

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Many players admitted they didn’t prepare enough for their matches with Jackson, who can somehow play the game with an unceasing and unblinking stare.

“I wasn’t expecting him to come out wearing a Fortnite T-Shirt either,” said second-round opponent Hector Afanador. “And I definitely didn’t expect him to talk so much about his girlfriend from summer camp who goes to a different high school, in Canada. I know way too much about how your cousin Jackson likes to kiss his imaginary girlfriend.”

While the victory was a surprise, many expect Jackson, who is often the topic of worried conversation among family members, to continue his run of success - if not in table tennis, then definitely in a convoluted and disturbingly-complex game that takes place entirely in your grandparent’s above-ground pool.

End of the Bench will have more as this story develops.

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