Drama and tension defined the ladies singles final as Trinidad’s Rheann Chung played a masterful game to win the title of the Caribbean Table Tennis Championships at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall yesterday.
In the best of seven series, the 26-year-old multi- Caribbean champion was down by three sets to love to Eva Brito of the Dominican Republic before roaring back to clinch the title.
In the men’s final Juan Vila, of the Dominican Republic, whose father was himself a former winner of the title, took home the crown.
Brito, who had been given a scare by Guyana’s Natalie Cummings who took the eventual winner to five game in their quarter final clash, raced to a 11-7, 11-8 and 11-9 lead.
Chung, who recently resumed playing after being banned for two years for unsportsmanlike conduct, showed her frustration as she threw her racket on the table after losing the second set to Brito.
However, she refused to give up and stepped up her game, using her forehand and back hand top spin shots effectively against Brito to tie the match at three sets all.
With the final set tied on 10, Chung used her experience to outplay Brito for the final two points to walk away as champion of the 53rd edition of the championships.
Brito was also seen showing her frustration when she threw her racket to the floor after Chung won the singles match-up.
“I’m very pleased because I was behind 3-0 and the coach was telling me to relax and play and to just fight and that’s what I did and God is good, that’s all I can say,” an emotional Chung told Stabroek Sport after the game.
Southpaw Trenace Lowe was the only Guyanese to medal in the singles competition as she won a bronze in the female category after being defeated by Chung one set to four in the semifinal earlier in the day while Idi Lewis reached the furthest among the men.
The men’s division was the opposite of the female final with less entertainment for the noisy crowd in support of Trinidad as Vila easily defeated St. Louis in five sets.
Vila played aggressively showcasing more of his power game instead of the use of his varying shot selection for which he is known. The match-up ended 13-15, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 and 11-8 in Vila’s favour.
With the conclusion of the tournament, the Dominican Republic was named the overall champions of the tournament while Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Barbados came in at second, third and fourth respectively.
The Dominican Republic won all of the finals except the mixed doubles and the women’s singles which were won by Trinidad.
The presentation ceremony was held immediately after both the male and female finals.
The athletes received their trophies and medals for their respective placing and were congratulated by President of the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA), Henry Greene and the Minister of Culture Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony.
At the presentation ceremony a Hall of Fame for Table Tennis was created where former Caribbean Table Tennis Champion and International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) coaching course conductor, Sydney Christophe was the first to be honored with a plaque at the Hall of Fame.