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T&T t-tennis men, women qualify for CACSO Games

Friday, March 2, 2018

T&T senior men’s and women's table tennis teams have qualified to compete at the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organisation (CACSO) Games.

This after both teams were assured of top eight finishers when the 2018 CACSO Games Special Qualifying Table Tennis Event continued at the Sports City Coliseum, Havana, Cuba yesterday.

Today, the national men's team without the services of ace player and reigning national champion, Aaron Wilson, will play for seventh spot against Barbados or El Salvador after a 3-0 loss to rivals Guyana in their fifth to eighth semi-final after losing to Venezuela 3-0 in the quarterfinals followed by a similar result against the Guyanese in their fifth to eight semifinal, with all three matches going five sets in the latter contest.

Against Guyana, T&T’s Yuvraaj Dookram came up short against Shamar Britton, 11-3, 11-6, 9-11, 7-11, 10-12, while team-mate Arun Roopnarine was edged out by Nigel Bryan 7-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 9-11, and Curtis Humphreys and Dookram were upstaged by Joel Alleyne and Bryan 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 10-12, 6-11.

Earlier in the morning session in the quarterfinals by Luis Vanegas rallied past Dookram 11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7 and Marco Navas scolded Roopnarine 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 to put their team, within a win of a semi-final spot.

However, Humphreys and Dookram kept T&T alive by beating Vanegas and Jose Barcelo in the doubles, 11-6, 11-9, 12-10, only for Barcelo to brush aside Roopnarine 11-4, 11-9, 11-5 and secure his team’s victory.

On Wednesday night, the local men’s were beaten by top ranked Dominican Republic 3-0 in their opening Pool A match in the morning rebounded to defeat eighth ranked Honduras 3-1 to seal second spot and a quarter-final birth which quaranteed a spot at the CACSO Games later this year in Colombia.

Humphreys won the opening match for T&T in the best-of-five series when he overcame Oscar Valeriano 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-3 and his WASA club-mate Dookram made it 2-0 with a come-from-behind 7-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9 win against Jose Urbina.

Roopnarine and Humphreys then had a chance to complete the sweep for T&T, but they were upstaged by Alfredo Lopez and Oliver Mendoza in the doubles 6-11, 5-11, 9-11 before Dookram cooled his team-mates nerves with an 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 defeat of Lopez to seal the 3-1 and the runner-up spot in the three-team play behind Dominican Republic which also blanked Honduras 3-0 for a perfect 2-0 record.

T&T women out quarters

The national women’s team of Brittany Joseph, Catherine Spicer, Linda Partap-Joseph and 12-time national champion Aleena Edwards were carded to meet Mexico last night for fifth spot.

It would have marked the second meeting in one day for both teams after the Latin Americans denied T&T a semifinal spot via a 3-0 beating in their final Pool B match.

With the win, Mexico ended second behind El Salvador with 2-1 record while T&T was third at 1-2, and Barbados (0-3), last.

After losing to second seeded El Salvador, 3-0 in their opening match on Wednesday morning, the the sixth ranked T&T women brushed aside neighbours Barbados 3-0 but was then beaten by Mexico.

In the win over the Barbadians, national women’s champion and winner of the women’s Classified crown on Sunday last, 19-year-old Joseph outplayed Jazel Griffith 11-6, 11-1, 5-11, 11-1 for a 1-0 advantage.

Spicer doubled T&T’s lead by beating Janae Lewis 11-2, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10 before she paired with Linda Partap-Boodhan in an 11-6, 11-6, 11-5 defeat of Kenady King and Lewis.

However, against the Mexicans, the locals stumbled with Spicer losing to Yadira Silva 8-11, 6-11, 10-12 and Joseph falling to Alejandrina Mendez 8-11, 7-11, 6-11 while Spicer and Partap-Boodhan were beaten 4-11, 5-11,9-11 in the doubles by Marbella and Mendez.

In Pool A, Venezuela trounced Guatemala 3-0 and versus Guyana which had beaten the top seeded Central Americans 3-2 on Wednesday morning.

With only seven teams registered in the women’s qualifiers, all participants were assured of places at the CACSO Games as the top eight teams from the tournament qualify.

The men and women qualifiers from in Cuba join the four national associations who receive direct entries.

Cuba and Puerto Rico receive direct entries to the CACSO Games in both the men and women competition as well as hosts Colombia.

Following the completion of the CACSO Games qualifiers, the Latin American Table Tennis Championship will serve off on March 4 to March 9.


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