HISTORIC: Guyana captures Cup of the Guianas
History was made at the weekend as a strong Guyana Junior tennis team was able to finally turn the tables on rivals Suriname and French Guiana in their annual meet.
It was a decisive win for the Guyanese team who played with passion and a high degree of discipline as they overcame all odds and were finally able to win the inter-country competition for the first time in over 10 years of competition.
Now rebranded as the Cup of the Guianas (formerly Inter-Guiana Games), the tournament attracted top junior players from Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana who competed in the Under-12, Under-14 and Under-18 categories.
A total of 56 matches were played over three days that included Singles and Doubles matches at the GBTI Recreational Centre and the Harry Panday court. It was an event which was thoroughly entertaining as it was competitive.
Guyana was dominant this year, the country copping an unprecedented five gold medals and one silver in the six categories, with Suriname coming in second (five silver and one bronze), while French Guiana took third (one gold and five bronze).
Outstanding performances at the tournament came from Jeremiah Kalekyezi and Vadeanand Resaul, winning all six matches in the Under-14 category. Afruica Gentle and Kalyca Fraser also secured all wins in the Girls Under-18 category.
The outstanding players for French Guiana were Sael Geer and Julien Gaillot in the Under-18 Boys won gold for their country. For Suriname, the Under-14 Boys Yannick Issa and Shane Hermelijin secured the most win for their country.
According to the Guyana Tennis Association, the Guyana team, which benefited immensely from being able to train at the GBTI Tennis Courts over the last two months, was a well-oiled unit and was finally able to turn the tables in 2017.
It added that special credit also has to go to coaches Shelly Ramdyhan and Leyland Leacock and all the other tennis coaches who assisted in their preparation.
“The Guyana Tennis Association, sponsors, parents and friends of tennis were also instrumental in making the achievement possible through hard work and dedication. Home court advantage brought additional excitement to the Guyanese team as vocal supporters were able to egg on the players to higher levels and win some very competitive matches,” the association added.
Sponsors for the event included Demerara Distillers Limited, DeSinco Trading, Star Party Rental, Massey, Guyana Olympic Association, National Sports Commission, Assuria, Banks DIH, Mae’s Schools, GBTI, RKV Persaud Land Surveying Services, Sheltez Tennis Club, Harry Panday, Rorima Tennis Club, Non-Pariel Tennis Club and Le Ressouvenir Tennis Club.
The next Cup of the Guianas tournament will be held in Suriname in 2018.