Edghill storms to Senior Women’s title; Van Lange takes U-21 and ‘B’ Class
By Akeem Greene
Guyanese Olympian Chelsea Edghill did what was expected- that is come and conquer at the Senior National Table Tennis Championship.
She did it in grand style by romping to an emphatic 4-0 (11-2, 11-4, 11-4, 11-7) triumph over dethroned national Women’s champion, Natalie Cummings, at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall on Sunday.
The 24-year-old’s success was the second at the senior level and 20th across all age groups, and according to her, it was important she returned from her current base in Portugal and compete at the championship, and produce a dominant performance.
As from the scoreline, Edghill held control in the match against the southpaw, and while she gifted a few points, her superiority was quite evident.
The Olympian had defeated Prescilla Greaves 11-4, 11-4, 11-2, 11-3, while Cummings had the better of Crystal Melville 11-3, 11-3, 11-5, 11-3 in the semi-finals.
Additionally, Jonathan Van Lange, who a few weekends ago copped the National Under-19 title, ousted Colin Wong 4-0 (11-8, 11-3, 11-7, 11-9) in a totally controlled Under-21 final.
However, it was the ‘B’ Class Open against the other Wong- Miguel- which sparked the most interest and it was arguably the most thrilling contest of the night.
The 21-year-old Wong, with a host of experience in Europe- in particular Germany where he had some training stints- came against the 15-year-old Van Lange, who was actually the defending champion.
Based on experience, Wong was tipped as favourite, and he took the first set 11-7.
The turning point came in the second set when Wong was up about five points to love, but a twist of events saw Van Lange storming back to win 13-11.
Wong bounced back to win 11-8 and take the lead, but it seemed the mental toll of dropping the second set after such a dominant position, took effect.
Van Lange pressured Wong’s backhand and stole both points and the momentum to close off the match 11-7, 11-8, 11-3.
The Women’s Under-21 division was contested on a round-robin basis and won by the ever-impressive Jasmine Billingy.
The 11-year-old, who was the defending champion, and already has the U-15 and U-19 titles in the bag from last month’s Junior championship, defeated old rival Thuraia Thomas 3-1.
Thomas won the first set 15-13 and looked to be in charge of proceedings until Billingy bounced back 11-3.
The third set was an absolute cracker as both players went at each other intensely until Billingy won 16-14, then the fourth 11-5.
Meanwhile, Saalih Rahim came from behind to defeat Ishaka Jackman 3-2 for the ‘C’ Class title, while Cummings and Edghill teamed up to win the Ladies Doubles.
The Championship has been extended to February 12-13 with the playing of the Men’s Singles, which will bring a conclusion to the Nationals.