Billingy sweeps Girls category at Junior Table Tennis Championship


By Akeem Greene

A star in the making or a star is born?

Without question, Jasmine Billingy fits into one of the categories after she won both the Girls Under-15 and Under-19 categories at the Junior National Table Tennis Championship, which concluded on Sunday at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, Homestretch Avenue.

Colin Wong and Jonathan Van Lange won the corresponding titles in the Boys’ division.

Two years ago, at the age of nine, Billingy had pulled off another herculean feat, winning the Under-21 title at the Senior National Championship, when she defeated Thuraia Thomas.

As fate would have it, the duo met again, this time in the Under-19 final, and while Thomas pushed the Malteenoes Sports Club player to the limit on the previous duel, this time Billingy swept her 3-0 (11-8, 11-8, 11-9).

Billingy, who told News Room Sport she was inspired by Olympian Chelsea Edghill, is still considered a Cadet (U-11 and U-13), and continues to make big waves in divisions way above her age.

It is her nimble feet and cheeky serves that does trick, along with a good potency to win on her serves and exploit the opposition’s weakness.

Colin Wong won the Boys’ Under-15 title

For the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA), the future is bright as Billingy, in her semi-final with another Cadet player, Samara Sukhai, went the full distance (7-11, 11-3, 6-11, 11-8 and 11-0), while Crystal Melville, the former Under-18 Champion, battled Thomas in a rematch of 2020 final, but her fortunes changed in an 11-6, 9-11, 6-11, 5-11 defeat.

Additionally, Billingy’s Under-15 title came in a spotless performance in the round-robin format due to the limited about of contestants; Sukhai was second and Akira Watson third.


Van Lange, who won both titles at the previous championship, has aged out of the Under-15 category, but still made merry in the Under-19 segment.

Preparing for exams at School of the Nations and a potential recall to Guyana’s Youth Cricket team, Van Lange said time management is critical and while at times he displays impatience in matches, he timed many of his attacks to perfection.

Jonathan Van Lange defended his national title

He topped southpaw Isaiah Layne 11-9, 11-5, 13-11 and 11-6 in the semi-final, but Niran Bissu, another multi-sport national player, pushed him in the final.

Bissu kept the rallies and forced Van Lange to give up soft points, which at times placed Van Lange in positions of losing the swaying contest.

Bissu took two matches to deuce, however, Van Lange dug deep and won 11-5, 11-13, 12-10 and 11-9.

Bissu had produced a come-from-behind performance to defeat Krystian Sahadeo 10-12, 4-11, 11-7, 18-16, 11-9, 11-8.

Meanwhile, Wong won his first Junior National title in a quite entertaining final with Ebo McNeil. Wong, who dominated the Cadet circuit and even has a Caribbean Bronze medal, had a good duel with his national teammate.

The quality in player showed in the clinical touches of Wong, which cantered him to a smooth 11-7, 11-4, 11-8 title victory.

On day one of the championships, Van Lange and Billingy won the Mixed Doubles ahead of Bissu and Thomas, while Van Lange and Bissu teamed up to win the Boys Double ahead of Wong and Sahadeo. Thomas and Melville won the Girls’ Doubles.

Emmanuel Jeffrey won the Boys’ Novices with a 3-2 triumph over Gavin Narine, while Samirah Burrows copped the Girls’ title; she defeated Tricelle Clarke 3-1.

Attention now turns to the Senior Championship, which commences on January 29.

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