‘Success doesn’t come by magic’: Britton eyes support to advance career


By Akeem Greene


National Table Tennis player, Shemar Britton, was the lone Guyanese player to reach the quarter-final stage of the individual category at the senior Caribbean Championship in Cuba.

Impressed by his performance, the 23-year-old reflected that despite lacking the needed high-performance training, he is proud he can still match skills with such superior players.

Britton lost 4-0 to seasoned campaigner Daniel Gonzalez of Puerto Rico in the quarter-final. Gonzalez won 11-5, 13-11, 11-7, 11-6, which brought an end to the campaign for Guyana’s most impressive player at the Championship.

Though not securing an individual medal, Britton managed to topple some of Latin America’s top players, and he believes once he gets the requisite support, his output would improve going forward.

“A performance like this reminded me I am still good enough to compete at this level, I am still good enough to beat these players, but it does not happen by magic. It takes a lot of funding, a lot of hours, a lot of corporate sponsors and stuff that I have not been able to get,” the 2018 Caribbean Under-21 gold medalist told News Room Sport from Cuba on Tuesday.

Constant training in Europe is Britton’s goal as he seeks to qualify for Paris 2024 Olympic Games (File Photo: News Room)

The former Queen’s College student, who is now pursuing studies in the legal field, further elaborated: “I am hoping corporate Guyana comes on board and I am able to get more overseas training camps because whenever I am playing these players, it is like I am playing catch up because they are always coming from training or competing in Europe while I am just at home [in Guyana] and to bridge that gap it would take a lot of funding, but I believe with hard work, I can do it.”

His sentiments are similar to those of teammate and Olympian Chelsea Edghill, who indicated that investment was needed for her to compete at the Olympics. She eventually got support from corporate Guyana, the government, and the Guyana Olympic Association.

Outside of the two bronze medals from the male and female team, Guyana was not able to secure any other medal. At the last championship in 2019, Guyana won 10 medals on home turf.

Eyes on the prize! Shemar Britton is focused on ensuring he keeps improving, but needs the support of corporate Guyana (File Photo: News Room)

Britton labelled the recently concluded Caribbean Championship as one of the toughest on the basis that there were full and high-quality contingents from Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

“This has been the hardest Caribbean Championship I have been a part of and from a comment from my teammate this has been the hardest they have been a part of. So, myself and [Christopher] Franklin advancing to the Round of 16, and qualifying for the Pan American Championship despite not playing in two years, is testament to our skill and talent.”

The immediate focus now will be the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in July, which both the male and female teams have qualified for.

The Pan Am Games are slated for October 17-23 in Chile.

Guyana was represented at the Caribbean Championship by the top senior players on the local circuit.

The Female contingent comprised Edghill, Natalie Cummings and Priscilla Greaves, while the other members were debutants Miguel Wong and Jonathan Van Lange.

They were accompanied by Coach Idi Lewis.

Britton highlighted 15-year-old Van Lange’s performance as “speechless” and one which augers well for the future given how he battled impressively against professional players, while he also sees Wong as another bright talent.

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