Host Guyana ended the Junior Caribbean Table Tennis championship, overall third after copping three silver and seven bronze medals respectively behind first place
The Dominican Republic and runners up Barbados when the curtain came down on the tournament last evening at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall to end nearly a week of intense competition between over a 100 cadet and junior table tennis players from 10 different territories.
The day started disappointingly for the host after a number of their top junior boys and girls failed to make it to semi-finals of the under 15 and 18 singles categories.
Only Priscilla Greaves provided Guyana with a singles medal on the final day when she placed joint third with Shelly Machado of Cuba in the girls U18 singles.
Greaves was knockout at the semi-final stage by the eventual winner, Esmerlyn Castro who won the first two set; 11-3 and 13-11 before the home-girl struck back to win the third; 13-11 only for the Hispanic to hold her nerve to serve her way into the final winning the last two sets 11-6 and 16-14.
After a slow start Greaves came into her own and matched her much vaunted opponent stroke for stroke.
She had chances to win the second game which she led 10-7 and the final game but luck deserted her. However her performance stamped her as one for the future and she was easily the country’s star performer in the singles.
Castro came into the tournament as the player to beat and she lived up to the hype eventually winning the girls U 18 title against fellow countrywoman, Cinthia Sanchez to earn herself a well-deserved crown.
Barbadian Tyrese Knight was the pre-tournament favourite to cart off the boys 18 years and under singles and he did not disappoint winning the final by dominating Trinidad and Tobago’s Luc O’Young in four straight sets, 11-6, 11-9, 11-4, and 12-10 to take home the coveted championship.
The match of the evening, however, saw Knight employing his favorite chop returns to go past the highly rated Cuban Carlos Sanchez 11 – 6, 3-11, 11-9, 12- 10 and 12- 10 during which the two exchanges intense serves, loops and even a few words to put on a fine display.
The Latin American side had earlier underscored their dominance when they walked away with both the boys and girls under 15 singles tiles when Rosa Torres defeated her teammate Idelsa Baez three sets to one while Ronaldo Tejada dominated Aruba’s Chen Ho Cheung in three straight sets to crown off a top effort from the Spanish-speaking country who ended championship with 11 gold, six silver, and eight bronze medals.