10 medals for Guyana at Caribbean Table Tennis Championship
By Akeem Greene
It was certainly not the desired result, but the Guyanese players can speak proudly of their achievements over the past week in the 61st Senior Caribbean Table Tennis Championship.
The event concluded on Sunday at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall with Guyana finishing second overall.
Dominican Republic lived up to the pre-tournament billing, amassing the most points, 1530. Host nation Guyana tallied 750, followed by Barbados (640), Cuba (600), Puerto Rico (310) and Jamaica (250) to round off the top six.
Guyana secured 10 medals, gaining a medal in each event except the female Under-21 Singles.
Gold eluded the Guyanese, with silver coming in the Women’s team event; the pair of Jody-Ann Blake and Trenace Lowe in the Women’s Doubles; and Shemar Britton in the Under-21. Britton was the defending Caribbean Under-21 champion.
Bronze medals were secured by Britton and Lowe in the Singles; the Men in the team event; Nigel Bryan and Joel Alleyne in the Doubles; Lowe and Christopher Franklin in the Mixed Doubles; and Colin France and Dianne Chance in the 45 and Over Singles.
Attention on the final day was pierced on the Men’s and Women’s Singles. Not surprisingly, defending champion Emil Santos of Dominican Republic eased to the title by crushing Puerto Rico’s Hector Berrios 11-9, 11-6, 11-8, 12-10.
Berrios had earlier ended Britton’s campaign at the semi-final stage. He won 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 12-10. No other Guyanese male reached the quarter-final stage.
In the Women’s category, Cuba Daniela Fronseca completed the double. After winning the Under-21 title on Friday, she overcame Dominican Republic’s Esmerlyn Castro in a highly competitive final that went the full seven sets.
The Cuban, who lacked the eye-catching play, made up by sticking to basics, and won the gruelling contest 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-5.
Castro had defeated Lowe in the semi-final match 4-0 (11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7), and topped Blake in the quarter-finals 4-0 (12-10, 14-12, 14-12, 11-4).
Natalie Cummings went out at the same stage to Dominican Republic’s Brita Eva, 4-1 (6-11, 8-11, 13-15, 11-6, 11-13).
Despite Guyana not qualifying for the Pan-American Games as a team, Godfrey Munroe, President of the Guyana Table Tennis Association told News Room Sport, they will send players to Guatemala for the Latin American Championship.
The championship runs from May 24-31 and will give individual players a chance to qualify to the Games. The Pan-Am Games serves as an Olympic Games qualifier.
There is consolation that both male and female Guyana teams have qualified for the Pan-American Championships in Paraguay in September.