President of the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) Godfrey Munroe says he believes that the GTTA had a solid year in 2012 pointing to the performances of the senior teams at last year’s Caribbean championships.
“Great performances from our senior team at the Senior Caribbean Championship despite playing against the best and not having some of our more seasoned players,” he told Stabroek Sports in an exclusive interview.
The Guyana men’s team at the Caribbean championships was without top players Idi Lewis, Christopher Franklyn and Munroe himself. In the absence of those three players the team failed to medal in the team competition but seasoned player Paul David won a bronze medal.
“I think that Paul David’s bronze medal was a good achievement. Chelsea Edghill won a silver medal as part of the women’s team while Colin France won a silver medal in the veterans’ category.
He also pointed out that the Cadet and the junior team also won medals at the regional competitions.
On the local scene Munroe stated that the domestic tournaments were great while the decentralisation project has begun to reap some amount of success.
“One of the biggest successes was our national team’s players being able to train at an international camp in the USA,” he said referring to a number of national players who participated at a training camp at the Lily Yip Training Facility in the US.
Greene’s death a big setback
Munroe said that one of the biggest setbacks was the death of former Police Commissioner Henry Greene, who was president of the association at the time of his death.
“He was pillar of strength as he was instrumental in getting support and aggressive when it came to getting things done. We lost a great stalwart but I think we are now more resolved to get things done and move in the right direction,” he stated.
Edghill for junior sportswoman
Munroe also revealed that Edghill will be the GTTA’s choice for Junior Sportswoman of the Year.
According to him, the association stands a better chance of winning in the junior category given Edghill’s accomplishments over the past year.
“She has had an outstanding year winning several tournaments. She won a silver medal at the Junior Caribbean championships in the 15 years and under division in a field where there were Cuban, Puerto Rican and Dominican Republic players. “She followed that up with a good performance in Mexico at her first World junior circuit event where she reached the semi-finals of the 15 years and under division. She also reached the quarter-finals of the 18 years and under division.”
Edghill also participated on another Junior Circuit event in Canada where she won the team event along with a South Korean player in the 15 years and under division.
In November she won the Super Bowl ladies singles event in Trinidad and Tobago.
Munroe said he feels that the GTTA stands a very good chance of winning that category at the annual National Sports Commission sports awards. “When you look at the performances in the girls’ category Chelsea will be leading that pack. It’s just to put it out there so that she gets the necessary votes. But she did have a good year and I think to follow that is, that her performance has made her a prospect for the ITTF where she stands a chance of receiving $US8000 for her preparation to the Road to Nanjing, China, which is the second Junior Olympics in 2014.
“So we basically have her geared on that pathway to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games either through the Continental qualifications or maybe through a wild card. But you have to go through the route of the Continental qualifications or the world junior circuit events.”
The Cadet team, he said would be a strong contender in the team category as they won 13 medals at the Junior Caribbean Cadet Championship held in Jamaica.
Munroe said the GTTA will not be contesting the senior Sportswoman and the junior and senior Sportsman of the year awards but will throw their nominations behind other associations who they believe have worthy contenders. “Last year we had Trenace Lowe who was the runner up but she did not have such a good season last year. For the junior category in terms of the boys, similarly we don’t have anybody with outstanding performances and I think our nominations will come in more in line of the Association of the Year, junior sports personality and team which is where the nominations are going to be.”
Asked he has made a decision as to which personalities the GTTA will throw their support behind, Munroe said, “I think there are a couple of names that have been posited and names that we are toying with but truly we have not yet narrowed it down.
“But Motor Racing is making a case for Stephen Vieira, and then there is Winston George and Chavez Ageday of athletics. In cricket there is Veerasammy Permaul and Assad Fudadin. Those are some of the names that readily come to mind.”
He however said The GTTA has not yet made a decision as to which female players will be supporting.
“We will sit down as an executive and narrow down and finalise to some measure the nominations,” he said.