President of the Guyana Table Tennis Association, Godfrey Monroe and head coach of the Guyana Junior Table Tennis team, Linden Johnson said yesterday that they were both pleased with the outcome and performances of the players at the just-concluded Cadet and Junior Caribbean Table Tennis Championships held at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
When the curtain came down on Tuesday evening Guyana ended in third position behind winners the Dominican Republic and runners-up Barbados.
“Yeah, I think we had a great tournament, in the context of the amount of participating countries. This is the first time ever we had so many countries participating in the Caribbean championship,” Munroe said in an invited comment.
“I think what this provides, is a great litmus test for us to see where we are. Sometimes we went to other tournaments, similar in nature to the Caribbean juniors and you have had six teams among other things, what that does, it doesn’t give you a true representation of where you stand as a competing nation,” the president disclosed.
The association can hold themselves in high accord after hosting 10 Caribbean and Latin American countries in a well-organized tournament which gave nearly a 120 young racket-wielders the opportunity to exchange serves and loops against each other.
Munroe, commenting on the support given for the tournament, sang praises to the Government of Guyana, Director of Sport; Christopher Jones, parents of some of the players and Miguel Delgado; the Chief Executive Officer of Raise Rexford Tables Tennis Equipment manufacturer for donating the balls for the tournament.
Coach Johnson on the hand expressed satisfaction with the team’s overall performance but indicated that he was hoping for a few more medals from some of the other outgoing players.
“I think we had a good team performance. It was satisfactory but we were looking for the outgoing players to perform better, at least meeting the medal round,” the coach said.
He added, “Third place is high among the ranks because we all know that ten countries participated so we can accept that.”
Meanwhile, Priscilla Greaves, Guyana’s lone medalist in the singles category who placed joint third with Shelly Machado of Cuba in the girls U-18 singles and Barbadian Tyrese Knight who took home the coveted boys 18 years and under championships have both expressed an interest in going pro, when interviewed by this newspaper.
“I’m trying to move to Sweden to live and play Table Tennis professionally, I’m trying to go from September,” the newly crowned junior Caribbean champion Knights said.
Greaves, on the other hand, while uttering similar sentiments, however said she also has goals of pursuing both her tennis and academic aspirations.
“Yes, I do hope to pay professionally,” she assured when asked what’s next for Priscilla Greaves adding… “Well I plan on going to the U.S to attend college, hopefully, I get a scholarship this or next year.”
She also called on the Ministry of Education and other influential figures to assist young racquet wielders in furthering their quest to play professionally and to take the game to new heights.