God and support, the centre of Britton and Edghill’s success

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By Akeem Greene

Congratulatory messages have swamped social media for the golden feat of table tennis players Shemar Britton and Chelsea Edghill at the Senior Caribbean Table Tennis championships being staged in Jamaica. The Guyanese won their respective Under-21 category final on Wednesday evening.

Messages have poured in from all corners: “You have done it.” “We have done it.” “Guyana is proud.”

As the saying goes, ‘success doesn’t come overnight’, and both athletes responded most respectfully and humbly to the new fame. They highlighted the deep desire from a patriotic front to make their country proud which came to fruition after the long hours of training with God at the centre.

“With God any dream is possible, and today one of mine came through. U-21 Caribbean champion a title I’ve been dreaming of winning three years now is finally on its way back home. Major thanks go out to my mother Dawn Britton aka my biggest supporter along with my father Basil Britton; without them believing and investing in me God knows where I’ll be”, the 20-year-old southpaw Britton stated in an emotional post to social media site Facebook moments after he struck gold.

Shemar Britton (File photo)

He added, “Godfrey Munroe, the president of GTTA [Guyana Table Tennis Association] along with the Guyana Olympic Association, gold is coming back home and it’s all due to your belief and dedication to keep investing in us and sending us out here to fight; we are also grateful to your little whispers and messages you always give us before matches.”

Edghill too was pinpoint on where the success emanated: “7 years ago I played my first senior championships and it was always a goal of mine to win yet another singles title. Goal accomplished. Today I’ve become the new U-21 Caribbean’s Women’s champion. I’m humbled by this accomplishment and I must thank everyone who supported my efforts throughout the years. To my parents, you are the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given; you have stood by me through loss, defeat ridicule and heartbreak. You are my biggest supporters and I am forever indebted to you.”

Chelsea Edghill, the Under-21 Women’s Singles champion (Photo: Roberto Morejon)

Both went on to thank Coach Idi Lewis for the elementary years at Malteenoes Sports Club, while 19-year-old Edghill highlighted her stint with ADC Ponta do Pargo in Portugal earlier this year as key in fast-tracking her development.

Neither athlete currently resides in Guyana. Britton has started reading for a Degree in Law at the University of West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago, while the racquet sport has paved the way for Edghill to be on a scholarship at Lindenwood University in the United States, where she is pursing studies in Chemistry.

Both will now hope to continue good performances in the senior men and women singles. The icing on the cake has gotten sweeter since the team Guyana would have already won silver in the both team events, two bronze in female doubles and silver in the mixed doubles.

Additionally, at the Caribbean Region Table Tennis Federation’s elections, it was disclosed that the bid of Guyana to stage the Senior Championship was confirmed; the Dominican Republic being the reserve.

It was agreed that Jamaica will host the Mini and Pre-Cadet Championships with the Dominican Republic being reserve. Likewise, Dominican Republic was confirmed as the destination for the Cadet and Junior Championship; Cuba being the reserve.

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