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T&T t-tennis women 6th, men 8th
T&T senior women’s team ended in sixth spot while the men placed eighth in the Team Competition at the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organisation (CACSO) Games held at the Sports City Coliseum, Havana, Cuba on Thursday night.
After missing out on an semifinal spot in the seven-team event due to a third placed finish in their four-team Pool B round-robin series, the T&T women were handed a fifth to eight semifinal round bye while Guatemala overcame Barbados 3-1.
This then set up a fifth place battle when the Central Americans proved too much for T&T
led by Lucia Cordero.
The T&T women enjoyed a perfect start to the best-of-five play-off when recent national Classified women’s title winner and reigning national champion Brittany Joseph defeated Mabelyn Enriquez 11-6, 11-9, 13-11.
However, it was the only bright spot for T&T as Andrea Estrada overcame Catherine Spicer 11-9, 11-8, 11-5 and Cordero paired with Enriquez to defeat 12-time national women’s champion Aleena Edwards and Spicer 11-6, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6 in the doubles before Cordero closed out the tie with an 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 win over Joseph to seal the 3-1 triumph.
In the main draw semifinals, Venezuela and Mexico blanked El Salvador and Guyana by similar 3-0 margins ahead of their final showdown yesterday.
When the tournament served off on Wednesday, T&T went under to El Salvador 3-0, brushed aside Barbados 3-0 and then fell to Mexico, also by a 3-0 scoreline for a 1-2 round-robin pool record behind Mexico (3-0) and El Salvador (3-1).
With only seven teams registered in the women’s qualifiers, all participants were assured of places at the CACSO Games in July/August in Barranquilla, Colombia 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.
Additionally, for the men, Mexico are direct entrants; for the women, the Dominican Republic are already on the entry list.
Following the completion of the CACSO Games qualifiers, the Latin American Table Tennis Championship will serve off on March 4 to March 9.
The local men’s team of Arun Roopnarine, Yuvraaj Dookram and Curtis Humphreys also ended their evolvement in Cuba with a loss, 3-1 to El Salvador with sixth spot up for grabs with Julio Calderon nailing down to victories for the Central Americans.
Calderon served off his team’s bid for sixth by beating Roopnarine 11-4, 11-4, 11-6, but Dookram then drew T&T level with an impressive 11-8, 11-2, 9-11, 11-7 victory over Oscar Villalta.
El Salvador regained the lead courtesy Oliver Mendoza and Oscar Villalta when they stopped Humphreys and Roopnarine 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 in the doubles before Calderon held off Humphreys 14-12, 11-6, 11-5.
Despite the loss, the T&T men were also assured of a spot at the 2018 CACSO Games having advanced to the quarterfinals on Thursday.
On Wednesday night, the local men’s were beaten by top ranked Dominican Republic 3-0 in their opening Pool A match rebounded to whip Honduras 3-1 to seal second spot and a quarterfinal birth.
Venezuela then blanked T&T 3-0 in the last-eight match-up on Thursday with Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Panama also gaining similar wins against Barbados, Guyana and El Salvador respectively.
T&T was then trounced by Guyana 3-0 in their fifth to eight semi-final while Barbados also won 3-0 over El Salvador ahead of their seventh spot decider.
In the main draw semis, Dominican Republic came from 0-2 down to edge Panama 3-2 and faced Guatemala in yesterday’s final after the latter stunned Venezuela, 3-0.
Barbados took fifth thanks to a 3-0 shut-out of Guyana while Honduras beat Haiti 3-1 for ninth, Aruba trashed Belize 3-0 as well for 11th and St Vincent and The Grenadines ended 13th.
Yesterday, the singles competition took part for players from Honduras, Haiti, St Vincent and The Grenadines, Aruba, Belize and St Kitts/Nevis as they tried to qualify for Colombia, having missed out via the Team competition.
Following the completion of the CACSO Games qualifiers, the Latin American Table Tennis Championship will serve off on March 4 to March 9 with T&T’s Spicer expected to compete in the women’s event.
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