The conclusion of most sporting events usually ends with the celebration of its marquee players while little is said of the juniors, the ones who set the tone and will perhaps one day earn the rights to inflated attention.
It is on that premise that this edition of Stabroek Sport will move to present player profiles of two Under – Nine table tennis racket wielders who served their way to individual titles at the conclusion of the Banks Malta Supreme tournament, on Saturday and in the process captured the attention of most of the attendees.
Seven-year-old Jasmine Billingy who captured both the Girls Under-Nine and Under-11 titles, is one of the most exciting prospects in her age group. She looks pretty calm under pressure and more importantly, she enjoys wielding her racket.
Billingy is a member of the Titans Tennis Club and sharpens her craft under the watchful eye of coach Colin France and the team.
“I feel excited and happy when I play,” the Winfer Gardens Primary School student told Stabroek Sport.
Billingy’s two years in the sport has even gotten her coaches animated about her future.
“Generally, she has a good spirit and is able to flow with practice, and those are the ingredients of a champion, and I know that she is going to do well,” France said about the young champion.
To her advantage, she also comes from a rugged sporting background as both her father, Colin Billingy and grand-father Colin Sultan, both represented Guyana as ruggers in the past.
Malachi Moore, who will turn nine next month, is a tad bit more accomplished as a player as was evident last the weekend when he dominated his peers en route to his title, dropping only one set from the nine matches he played.
It was his second title, following the National Sports Commission Mashramani crown, which he had captured the weekend prior.
Moore is a member of Malteenoes Table Tennis Club and steered by national coach Idi Lewis.
It is perhaps difficult to assess his strengths and weaknesses at this young age because of his dominating presence. One thing is for sure, however, is the fact that he has the little technical areas covered and it’s evident that he is well versed in the nuances of the game.
A real test of his character will come to the fore when he is thrown among his senior peers to see how he handles defeat, or if in fact, he can extend his dominance to the higher age group categories.
“I feel great,” he expressed after winning the title. When asked why, he gleefully replied, “Because I won two tournaments for the first time.”
Moore, who attends Mae’s Primary, said that he intends to continue playing the sport simply because he enjoys winning and would someday, “like to play for Guyana.”