The Guyana Table Tennis Association’s (GTTA) 2018 programme will kick off this afternoon at 4:00 pm with the staging of the Mashramani Junior and Cadet Table Tennis Championships at the National Gymnasium on Mandela Avenue.
President of the GTTA, Linden Johnson, in an interview with Stabroek Sport yesterday, said that he is happy to have the tournament, which has not been held in two years, back on the agenda. “I welcome back this championship and the players who will be competing. This was a big event on the calendar in the previous years, so it’s good that we have it back. I congratulate The National Sports Commission for what they have done and for donating the trophies. Having the Mashramani Junior and Cadet Championships back is a major step for table tennis in Guyana.” Johnson stated.
The GTTA’s president expects top showing from the players over the weekend, as the tournament will be used to shortlist players to compete at the Caribbean Region Table Tennis Federation’s (CRTTF) Junior and Cadet Championships scheduled to be held in Cuba later this year.
According to Johnson, in the previous years, the championships attracted over 300 participants, so he is hopeful that they will have at least over one hundred participants this year.
“As of right now we have 60 registered players. There are entries from Georgetown, Linden, Berbice and even Bartica. We are awaiting word from persons from Essequibo,” Johnson added.
It is his hope that this year can be the rebirth of the championships, and it will be as big, or even bigger, than what it was before the break. “I hope that we can build from this year and get to where it was before,” he said.
Johnson also mentioned that following this weekend’s tournament, which runs until Monday, the GTTA will be staging the Annual Forbes Burnham Foundation Under-21 B and C Class Championships in early March, where some of the senior players will be on show.
Stabroek Sport also spoke with Dwain Dick of Titans, on his expectations of the club members. Dick informed this newspaper that the club is excited to have Under-Nine players who came through a development program making their competitive debuts over the next few days. They are also expecting to have their junior players give their best efforts because they are playing with the goal of selection for the CRTTF Junior and Cadet Championships.