From Donald Duff in St Lucia
Guyana’s Trenace Lowe came within a whisker of defeating defending women’s singles champion Rheann Chung on Friday night, the penultimate night of the 55th annual Caribbean Table Tennis Championships here at the Beausejour Indoor Facility, Gros Islet, St Lucia.
Coming up against the France-based semi-professional player, the southpaw Lowe raced to a 2-0 lead in the best of three games match as the spectators rallied behind her sensing an upset.
Lowe won the first two games 11-8, 11-9, but lost the next three games 9-11, 3-11 and 8-11.
The match was easily the most spectacular of the tournament showcasing the depth of the two players’ varied skills.
For the first two games Lowe steered clear of the awesome backhand loop that Chung possesses and won, but Chung was not willing to roll over and die. Added to that, Lowe seemed to move away from the tactic which saw her winning the first two games.
However, Lowe played the shot of the night. A ferocious backhand loop from Chung was smashed with disdain by Lowe sending the partisan crowd in rapturous applause.
In winning two games from the defending champion Lowe made a mockery of the tournament organisers’ decision to seed her ninth simply because up to then, no other player had managed to win one game from the world ranked Chung much less two. It was the opinion of many persons that the Lowe/Chung match was the virtual final.
At the same time that Lowe was losing to Chung, 15-year old Antoinette Riley was taking on 11-year-old Ja’Sher De Gannes for a place in the next round and the disparity in the level of play between the two matches was so obvious that it made one wonder about the process used by the organisers to seed the players.
Yesterday afternoon Guyana’s last remaining hope for a singles medal,
Chelsea Edghill was eliminated from the women’s draw by her nemesis Eva Brito.
Brito had defeated Edghill by three games to one in the 21-years-and under final.
Yesterday she won 4-2 but not without a scare.
Edghill played exceptionally well in the match which produced thrilling rallies, smashes and counter loops before Edghill bowed out 10-12,8-11, 11-13, 12-10, 11-8, 11-13.
Edghill led 10-7 in the sixth game before Brito caught her at 10 and went on to win the match after Edghill had hit a forehand shot long on her serve.
Edghill had earlier won her group by defeating Riley 11-5, 11-9, 13-11 and Ginetta Remion 11-9, 11-7, 11-4 before defeating Manoelle Gamon 11-6, 12-10, 11-8 in the next round.
Lowe also topped her group by beating Kelly Ann Heliose 11-3, 11-2, 11-3 and Corinne Vaillant 11-7, 12-10, 11-7 before losing to Chung in the next round.
Both Lowe and Chung had drawn byes in the first round.
The other Guyanese in the women’s singles draw was Natalie Cummings who advanced as the second person in her group after losing to Lineth Vila 12-10, 9-11, 11-0, 9-11 and 11-2.
Cummings had beaten Larryssa Dover of Dominica 11-3, 11-3, 11-3 but then lost to Eva Brito 11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 7-11.
The fourth female player Akecia Nedd lost to Yasiris Ortiz 11-5, 12-10, 11-2 and to Ann Reid 20-18,11-9, 11-7.
In the men’s draw Nigel Bryan and Edinho Lewis were the only two players to advance from the group playoffs but lost in the next round. Bryan to Alaric Humphreys 12-10, 2-11, 4-11, 8-11 and Lewis to Rocky Ras 11-4, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7, 9-11.
In the 21 years and under category Bryan and Sunil Logan qualified from their groups before losing in the next round.
In the men’s doubles matches Sunil Logan and Nigel Bryan lost to Kevin and Trevor Farley 13-11, 11-2, 11-7 in the round of 16, while Edinho Lewis and Joel Alleyne were eliminated by Dexter St Louis and Curtis Humphreys 11-5, 11-3, 11-6 in the quarter finals.