Following hot on the heels of the OECS Table Tennis Championships here, The Caribbean Table Tennis Championships (CTTC) got underway this week with a Formal Opening Tuesday evening at the Beausejour Indoor Facility. St Lucia did win the OECS Table Tennis Championships but at the CTTC where the competition is extremely high found the going tough.
Minister for Youth Development and Sports, Shawn Edward, declared the championships formally opened and acknowledged that the hosting of the Championships was an indication of St Lucia’s emerging position as a sports destination. He also expressed hope that the efforts of the St Lucia National Table Tennis Association (SLNTTA) in hosting and participating in the championships, could serve as a catalyst for the development of young players to the sport. The Minister applauded the continued efforts of the SLNTTA and highlighted the selfless efforts of the President Teddy Matthews, in keeping the sport alive in St. Lucia over the years.
Both the President of the SLNTTA and the President of the Caribbean Region Table Tennis Federation, Juan Villa, addressed the gathering of 10 teams and their delegates– the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Barbados, Aruba, Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, St Vincent and host St Lucia.
Also present at the event were the President of the Senate and past President of the SLNTTA, Claudius Francis; Ambassador to the OECS and CARICOM , Dr June Soomer; President of the St. Lucia Olympic Committee, Ms Fortuna Belrose; Chairman of the St Lucia National Lotteries Authority, Victor Reid; Past SLNTTA Presidents, Frank Myers and Dexter Theodore; the Gros-Islet Constituency Council; Tournament Administrator, Bod Roopnarine; Event Officials; sports associations and sponsors.
The open events of the Caribbean Table Tennis Championships took place Thursday evening with the men’s and women’s doubles, mixed doubles along with the open singles in the junior and above 50 divisions.
In the women’s doubles, Lowe and Chelsea Edghill (Guyana) defeated Rheann Chung and Jasher De Fannes (Trinidad & Tobago) in straight sets 11-6, 14-2, 11-7.
In men’s doubles it was all a Dominican Republic final, with Vila Batista and Emil Santos getting past Galvez and Vila in straight sets 11-9, 11-3 and 11-9.
In a keenly contested mixed doubles competition, Trinidadian pro player Dexter St Louis and Rheann Chung were victorious over the Dominican Republic pair of Vila Batista and Eva Boito 13-11, 11-13, 9-11, 11-2.
The girls under 21 was fiercely contested in offensive style, with rallies and loops In that encounter Eva Brito (Dominican Republic) was victorious over Chelsea Edgill (Guyana) in straight sets.
The men’s above 50 was dominated by outstanding seniors most of whom are well known in table tennis circles. SLNTTA President Matthews made it through to the semi finals but lost 3-0 to David Mohabir (Trinidad & Tobago). Mohabir’s effective chipping and defensive style attracted much attention in the teams segment of the championships.
Spectators were treated to an exciting second semi final match between Raul Betancourt (Dominican Republic) who is a former Caribbean Singles Champion and Jn Michel Talba (Martinique). Betancourt who won 3-2 defeated Mohabir in the finals in straight sets.
The championship continued Friday with the singles men’s and women’s events. Play comes to a close today (Saturday) with the men’s and ladies final and closing ceremony. Matches Saturday begin at 3:00 pm with the finals set for 6:00 pm.
The main sponsors for the event are the Government of Saint Lucia, St. Lucia National Lotteries Authority, the St. Lucia Olympic Committee, LUCELEC, First National Bank and Scotia Bank. The championship tournament which took place throughout the week ends Saturday.