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Long Island Girl Hoping To Take Ping Pong Talents To Olympics

WEST HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A teenage girl from West Hempstead is hoping to take her ping pong talents to the Olympics in Brazil this year.

Estee Ackerman, a 14-year-old Orthodox Jew, is currently ranked eighth in the U.S. She will be traveling to Greensboro, North Carolina, to compete for a spot on the U.S. Olympic ping pong team. Estee will be among 15 women vying for three spots.

"To make the Olympics would be a dream come true," she told CBS2's Scott Rapoport.

The ping pong prodigy has been practicing up to four hours a day, five days a week with her brother and father. Estee told CBS2 that it's hilarious she can beat people decades older than her.

"That someone my age can beat people 50 years old. I think it's hilarious," the teen said.

Despite trouncing her competition, she puts her religion before her sport. Estee was once disqualified from the U.S. National Tournament after choosing not to play in a match because it was on Sabbath. She doesn't regret what happened.

"No, because I know that's always in my life. Judaism is number one," she told CBS2.

The teen's biggest highlight so far was beating tennis superstar Rafael Nadal in a ping pong match in 2013. She was only 11 at the time.

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