Table Tennis: Guyanese men out of Pan-Am Games contention

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By Akeem Greene

Quite close, but yet so far for Guyana’s male table tennis team in the quest for a trip to Lima, Peru, for the July 26-August 11 Pan-American Games.

They crashed out of the qualifiers via a bruising semi-final match to favourites Dominican Republic at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall on Monday. A powerful Dominican Republic contingent dominated the knock-out clash to win 3-0.

Christopher Franklin and Shemar Britton paired in Doubles action, but lost 8-11, 5-11, 8-11 to Samuel Galvez and Emil Santos. Joel Alleyne lost his singles match to Wu Jiaji 5-11, 6-11, 2-11.

Britton was the last hope and certainly tried his best; he was the only one to win a set in his clash with Santos. He should have won the first one set going within set point, only to have Santos bring it to deuce. It ended 12-14.

The talented southpaw then squared the sets with an 11-6 win, but seemed to lose his finesse and faded in play as Santos dominated to close out the game 7-11, 4-11.

Even though results were not in their favour, support was tremendous by teammates

Franklin told News Room Sport: “Those guys [Dominican Republic] are playing at a pretty high level and you can see they are match ready from playing a lot of tournaments around Europe, but we definitely gave the best we could. More than anything else, it was rusty match-wise for us, it is not that we were not ready, but it just was not coming together how we wanted it to but we gave our best.”

However, there is still hope for national joy since the Women will play Dominican Republic in the final on Monday evening from 17:30h. Only the top male and female teams will make it to the Games.

The Caribbean championships will commence on Tuesday and run until March 31.

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