Guyana looking to deliver successful Senior Caribbean TT championship
By Akeem Greene
Guyana will host the 61st edition of the Senior Caribbean Table Tennis championships from March 8-17 and with the preliminary deadline for registration being January 15, president of the local association, Godfrey Munroe, stated they are putting all systems in place for a successful event.
“We are not newcomers to hosting these games. In 2016 we would have hosted the junior championships which is much more complex because it is a greater number of athletes and they are smaller [in age], so we have experience,” he told News Room.
“This championship we will want to ensure we have more participation in terms of spectators. In terms of the executive committee we have decided to work at the activation of various marketing strategies to get spectators to come.”
No less than 12 countries are expected in Guyana for the event, which will be held at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. Munroe had envisioned there would be rubberised mats for the venue, but stated the close deadlines hampered that endeavour.
However, he acknowledged the support of ANSA McAL Trading through its Stag Beer brand, who will outfit the national team and provide playing tables for the event which is budgeted at $11 million.
Given 2019 preludes the Olympics in Tokyo, the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, which runs from July 26 to August 11, will be a gateway for many countries in this hemisphere to qualify. As such, Munroe explained the championships in Guyana will be used a qualifier to the Pan-Am Games and the Pan-American Cup.
One male and one female team will make the cut to Pan American Games and Guyana will have to overcome the Dominican Republic, who are touted to be the regional powerhouses after winning gold ahead of Guyana in 2018.
The Pan-Am Cup allows the top two teams (male and female) to qualify and possibly earn a spot at the World Championships in Hungary from April 21-28. Both Cuba’s men and women have made the qualification.
In terms of personnel, the former national player stated they are putting systems in place to get the team full prepared to stake a claim for gold at home.
“It is providing opportunities for the players to go China [for training], and other engagements as we look to develop. Short term is to provide well at these championships and long term is to advance the performance of the players and ranking positions,” he said.
At the previous event held in Jamaica in September 2018, Guyana had its best showing since French Guiana 2008. In Jamaica, the Guyanese won seven medals. Among the medals was Gold in the Under-21 and silver in both the male and female category.