By Treiston Joseph
Kaysan Ninvalle continues to grow as a championship calibre player and his performance on the first day of the Caribbean Cadet and Junior Table Tennis championship on Friday was the catalyst for Guyana’s dominance in the Under-15 category at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
Tenacity, aggression, laser focus and killer instinct are just few of the qualities that can be spotted in the young racquet wielding dynamo that is Ninvalle as his ability to take command of the table filtered down to his teammates, something Laker legend Kobe Bryant described as the Mamba mentality.
In his only group stage match, Ninvalle was clearly the best player on his team and on the floor, jump starting his Under-15 team to a 3-0 win over Jamaica with a tenacious set point win over Jamaica’s Alessio Tulloch 13-11, 11-7, 11-6.
Guyana also topped a mixed group of St Lucia and Guyana with Jamal Nicholas and Terrence Rausch being the workhorses of the team as they both featured in the matches against Jamaica and Guyana/St Lucia, picking up set points in each match. Yeudistir Persaud substituted for Ninvalle in the St Lucia/Guyana match which was less intense than the Jamaica clash.
The wins by Guyana put the host country firmly atop of the group heading into day two on April 15.
Meanwhile, the Under-18 Boys in their only match of the day, had a battle with Trinidad and Tobago, but pulled off a 3-2 win.
Both Kyle Edghill and Elishaba Johnson dropped winnable games to Trinidad’s Joshua Maxwell with Maxwell winning 3-2 against both the Guyanese players.
However, Guyana dominated the remaining players in Trinidad’s team to pull off the win with Miquel Wong also getting in on the action to help the team to victory.
On the distaff side, the Guyanese Under-18 girls will have their work cut out for them in the semi-final of the teams’ competition when they face the Dominican Republic who topped their group.
The Under-15 girls category having one group, the Guyanese girls won their only match against Jamaica 3-1, but will have to play the highly rated Dominican Republic side on April 15 to determine the ‘top dog’ in the group.
Action will continue in the championship for the remainder of the Easter weekend with the final day being Tuesday.