National coach Idi Lewis is a proud man.
The former Caribbean boy’s singles champion and men’s singles bronze medallist yesterday returned from the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago where he saw two of his charges dominate the Trinidad and Tobago Table Tennis Association Silver Bowl tournament held last weekend.
Playing at the regional Indoor Sports Arena, Chaguanas, national player Chelsea Edghill made
a clean sweep of the girls U18, U21 and women’s singles titles while Britton enhanced his growing reputation with his biggest tournament win yet, the men’s singles crown from a tough and large field.
The third member of the team Kyle Edghill created the biggest upset of the tournament when he ousted former Trinidad national player Reeza Burke from the men’s singles field.
Lewis yesterday was upbeat about the performance of the three-member Malteenoes team.
“The tournament was really a tune up for the Caribbean championships coming up shortly,” he said. The tournament is being used to see where the players are at and to know what to work on,” he added.
Edghill was simply unstoppable in the girls U18 and U21 divisions. In the U18 girls’ final she defeated Brittany Joseph 11-2, 11-9, 11-6 while Catherine Spicer also failed to win a set in the U21 final where she lost 6-11, 8-11, and 5-11.
But Edghill saved her best performance for last and in a grueling women’s singles final she toppled Trinidad’s number one player Aleena Edwards in five sets winning 7-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9 22-20.
“Chelsea’s performance was incredible,” said Lewis. She set a record for the tournament. Nobody has even won three titles, she showed a lot of maturity in the final which is being hailed as the greatest final ever for that tournament,” Coach Lewis added.
According to Lewis, next up for his charge in the Olympic Qualifiers in the Dominican Republic at month end.
“That tournament is also one of the tournaments on the road to Nanjing. It is one of a series of tournaments and training camps which Edghill must participate in leading up the Youth Olympics in China in August,” he told Stabroek Sport.
Britton, although participating in three categories like Edghill was unable to match Edghill’s success because of the depth of the field.
He lost in the boys’18 years and under category to Aaron Wilson a former World Hopes cadet player and in the 21 years and under category to Arun Roopnarine.
In the 18 years and under category Britton lost to Wilson 11-8, 6-11, 9-11,9-11 while Kyle Edghill was beaten by Roopnarine 11-9, 5-11, 12-10, 15-13.
In the 21-years-and-under Kyle Edghill was beaten by Wilson 11-8, 11-6, 11-3 while Britton lost to Roopnarine 11-6, 11-3, 8-11, 5-11, and 5-11.
He gained his revenge against both players in the men’s Open singles.
He took care of Wilson in the quarter finals winning 11-5, 11-5, 11-6, Alaric Humphreys in the semis winning 11-7, 11-8, 12-10 and Roopnarine in the final where he won 6-11, 11-6, 6-11, 13-11, 11-7.
Kyle Edghill took care of Burke, 11-3, 14-16, 11-5, 11-13, 12-10.
Lewis said Britton’s performance at the tournament was “solid.”
“Shemar turned in solid all-round performance. He had some great wins over players that he played before that beat him comfortably like Arun (Roopnarine) and Aaron (Wilson) A World Hopes player.
“For Shemar to be coming from Guyana playing just three times a week and to beat those guys comfortable is a great achievement and shows great improvement on his part which augurs well for the Caribbean championships,” said Lewis.
According to Lewis, Britton’s victories makes him a definite meal prospect at the junior Caribbean championships set for Cuba later this year.
“This win makes him a medal prospect. These players are some of the top players in the Caribbean and the win puts him right up there with them.
Lewis said the team’s participation at the tournament would not have been possible without the assistance and support of Arron Fraser of Wartsila, the Continental Group of Companies and the parents of the Edghill siblings and Britton.