Commonwealth Games: Table Tennis, Squash reap success for Guyana on opening day


It was a day of mixed results for the country’s table tennis players on the opening day of the competition at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

A release to the media indicated that the women’s side once again reached the quarter-finals of the team event, while the men’s team, this time around will have an early shift of attention to the singles.

Just like in 2018, Guyana’s women’s Table Tennis squad will feature in the quarter-finals of the Teams competition of the Commonwealth Games, after playing undefeated against Fiji and South Africa.

Though easily brushing aside Fiji, the team of Chelsea Edghill, Prescilla Greaves and Natalie Cummings had a tough time seeing off the women from South Africa.

Greaves and Cummings got the team off to a perfect start when they defeated the pair of Lialaa Edwards and Daniesha Patel in straight sets.

However, Kalam Musfiquh knocked off Greaves 3 – 0, before Olympian, Chelsea Edghill made light work of Patel in similar fashion to put Guyana up two games to one.

But Musfiquh would come back to play Cummings in an entertaining match.

Cummings, looking to seal the deal for Guyana, came out blazing to an 11-7 win in the first set. But in the second set, Musfiquh raced to a 0 – 8 lead.

Action between Chelsea Edghill and Daniesha Patel in the Women’s teams event at the Commonwealth Games

Cummings would play some excellent tennis thereafter, to make up for the errors that caused her to be down by a huge deficit. It was not enough. She would lose the set in a nail-biting 13-15 result, while also losing the following sets 8-11, 8-11.

This would bring Greaves back to the table, facing Edwards. She spun her way to a 3 – 1 win to send the Guyanese women marching forward with only the top-seeded India left to play in their group.

Speaking after the team’s triumph, Edghill, said even though things didn’t go as planned, she thanked Cummings and Greaves for giving them a good start in the day’s final game against South Africa.

According to Edghill, so far, the team accomplished one goal, which was to at least make-it to the quater-finals.

“It feels really good, knowing that the hard work that we’ve been doing is paying off. We will give it our all against India; it’s a strong team and all we can do is leave it all on the table. If it’s good enough to win, then, so be it,” the Olympian stated.

But while it has been smooth sailing for the women, the men’s team of Christopher Franklin, Johnathan Van Lange, and Shemar Britton, are having a tough time.

The Guyanese men opened against the home side where they were beaten 3 – 0 by England.

In their second match of the day, it went down to the wire against Bangladesh, but the Tigers had the final say when it ended, winning 3 – 2 over the Guyanese.

They will play Fiji on Saturday in their final team event.


While it was a tough outing for Shomari Wiltshire and Ashley Khalil, Jason-Ray Khalil had an impressive start to his campaign.

At the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, Jason-Ray Khalil was booted in the first round of the singles competition by former World-rated, Campbell Grayson of New Zealand.

However, this time around, Khalil showed why he is one of the country’s top players when he stormed from behind to defeat Paul Kadoma of Uganda 3 – 2 on the opening day of individual competition for the sport at the University of Birmingham Squash Courts.

Khalil lost the opening set 12 – 14 but bounced back to win the second 11 – 9. He would lose the third set 9 – 11 before rebounding to claim the other two sets 11 – 4, 11 – 9.

Guyana’s Jason-Ray Khalil (R) following his match against Paul Kadoma of Uganda at the 2022 Commonwealth Games

With the win, Khalil advanced to the Round-of-32, where he will come up against Malaysia’s Eain Yow on Saturday (July 30).

Meanwhile, his sister, Ashley, playing at her second Commonwealth Games, was knocked out of the competition after a hard-fought 2 – 3 defeat to Sri Lanka’s Yeheni Kuruppu.

Having first competed at the Commonwealth Games in 2014, where she had reached the Round-of-32, Ashley Khalil reminded that she was still a junior – 17 to be exact.

The 18-year-old Kuruppu had the Guyanese down 4 – 11, 9 – 11, but Khalil, a former National Champion, clawed her way back into the match, using her experience and brilliant display of squash to even the games 2 – 2, taking both sets 11 – 9, 11 – 3

In the fifth set, however, Khalil could not keep up with the much younger Kuruppu, who took the firth and deciding set 4 – 11.

Junior Caribbean Squash Champion, Shomari Wiltshire, tasting competition at the Commonwealth Games for the first time, had a good showing against Ravindu Laksiri of Sri Lanka, but only managed to win one set.

Laksiri is one of, or if not Sri Lanka’s best Squash players, and his experience showed against the 18-year-old Wiltshire.

The Sri Lankan had Wiltshire down 2 -11, 1-11, but buoyed by the support of his peers in the stands, along with Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Charles Ramson Jr., this year’s Caribbean junior champion won the third set 11 – 7.

However, the cheers did not last long; Laksiri graciously took the fourth 3 – 11.

Shomari Wiltshire (L) shares a light moment with Sri Lanka’s Ravindu Laksiri following his singles defeat at the 2022 Commonwealth Games

Next player up for Guyana is Mary Fung-A-Fat who will face New Zealand’s Katelyn Watts on Saturday (July 30).

After the day’s play, Coach Garfield spoke profoundly of the team’s performance , while lauding Jason-Ray’s performance.

“The court is totally different and we’re playing against players who are world-ranked; a lot of them are top 50 in the world. It’s a learning experience and we can only get better from coming to these games and matching our talent with players from around the world,” Wiltshire said.

The senior Wiltshire, a squash extraordinaire, said his son, Shomari, who is preparing to make the transition from junior to senior competition, will need as much exposure at higher competition, like the Commonwealth Games, to fortify his place amongst the Caribbean’s top players.

He added, “Obviously, any exposure at any higher-level competition, will only make your game improve, so, we’re looking to see based on his performances here (at the Commonwealth games) and at the Junior World Championship. We’ll see how that goes and if he can take that form into the Senior Caribbean Championships in Jamaica, from August 21 – 28.”


Olympian Aleka Persaud’s winning time of one minute, 07.24 (1:07.24s) in the Women’s 100m Butterfly, which represents a new National Record.

Persaud, competing at her first Commonwealth Games, erased her previous record of 1:08.53s. which she had set at the 2019 CARIFTA Games.

Persaud is not known for the 100m Butterfly, but rather the 50m and 100m Freestyle, which she will compete in at the Games.

The 16-year-old also holds National Record in the women’s 50m Freestyle (27.65s) and the 100m Freestyle record (1:00.69s.).

Paul Mahaica Jr, Aleka Persaud and Shekel Tzedeq following their competition on the opening day for Swimming at the Commonwealth Games

Paul Mahaica Jr set a new Personal Best in the Men’s 50m Butterfly to finish 6th in his Heats. He swam a time of 26.88s; his entry time was 27.00s. However, he will not advance to the next round.

Shekel Tzedeq was third in the Men’s 100m Backstroke, swimming a new Personal Best of One minute, 03.37 seconds (1:03.37s), bettering his entry time of 1:03.72s.

He will not advance to the next round of competition.


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