By Noelle Smith
Guyana’s Shemar Britton said he is satisfied with his play at the recent
Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) Invita-tional table tennis tournament in Trinidad and Tobago.
The tournament was held at the WASA Recrea-tion Centre from Novem-ber 3 to 9 and the team aspect of the tournament was won by Invaders, a team which included another Guyanese Natalie Cummings.
“The tournament this year was a lot tougher than last year because all the teams had strengthened their players from around the Caribbean while our team came back with the same group from last year,” Britton said.
Britton and Guyana’s Joel Alleyne represented the Gladiators
And Britton told Stabroek Sport that even though his team was not as successful as they had hoped, he was pleased with how he played individually for the few days they were in Trinidad.
He expressed satisfaction with the way the tournament was run and his performance on the tables and acknowledged that the competition was tougher than the year before which was reflected in his team’s final standing.
The highlight of Britton’s performance was when he stunned reigning Caribbean men’s singles champion Samuel Galvaz of the Dominican Republic 3-1 in a 2-4 defeat to Invaders whose team included former Caribbean men’s singles champion Trevor Farley.
“I personally had a good tournament with the exception of the Sunday where I wasn’t at my best and lost one match,” he said.
Britton said in the team event he only lost one match so he considers his performance impressive.
His hope and aim for the next WASA Invitational would be to bounce back to better the result of the third place and try to capture the first place title that seems to elude his team.
Britton’s teammate Alleyne said the focus now is to prepare for upcoming tournaments in the upcoming year.
He complimented the play of Cummings and Britton and said he wanted those in attendance to see the level of table tennis that Guyana has to offer adding that he believes that the performances of the two players was a wonderful way to showcase that.
Alleyne said the fact that Cumming assisted her team to win the tournament in her debut year and that Britton lost only one match, proved that the WASA Invitational was a success for the Guyanese table tennis players.
“Both of them played well. Shemar only lost one game and Natalie went to the finals with her team and they won. She was one for her team who played and won in the final. Other Caribbean countries who were there would have been able to see the talent and ability of our Guyanese players by following how they played at the tournament,” he said.
The WASA table tennis tournament was initially just for the local players but in its second year was changed when other countries were invited to compete, with it now being a franchise tournament.
Alleyne and Britton were no strangers to the competition having played with the Gladiators before reaching the finals last year before losing to Carnage Blasters.
In this year’s tournament, they were unable to better that performance as they were beaten into third place by the Blasters in the semi-final. Unlike the year before, however, the Blasters did not have the same luck as new team Invaders beat the Blasters out of the top spot.
In the final, on table 2, Guyana’s Natalie Cummings defeated Nicholi Alexis 11-7, 11-8, 12-10 and 11-4.
According to Alleyne and Britton, Cummings was an exceptional player and pulled her weight for her team and the success she and team faced were well deserved. “Natalie played very well. She delivered some big victories when her team needed her and stepped up especially in the finals,” Britton said of Cummings.
In the singles competition both Alleyne and Britton lost in the quarter finals.