National table tennis players keen for more tournament gold next year

-Guyana to host 2019 CTTF championship

National table tennis players who recently returned from participating in the 60th edition of the Caribbean Table Tennis Federation (CTTF) Senior Championships in Jamaica, are keen on recording more success on home soil in 2019.

The Guyanese recorded an impressive haul in Jamaica where they captured two gold medals, three silver and five bronze, which, according to President of the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA), Godfrey Munroe, is one of the more impressive runs from a local contingent.

Munroe, in the same breath, disclosed that Guyana had won the bid to host the 61st CTTF championships in April next year, which will be used as the Pan American Games qualifiers.

“Guyana won the bid based on a presentation that we made… (GTTA Vice-President Gary) Pratt narrated that presentation to host the 61st edition of the championships right here in Guyana at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall,” Munroe disclosed during a press conference yesterday.

“Critically, that tournament will be used as the qualifier for the Pan American Games and the Pan American Games is also the qualification for the Olympic Games,” he added. The GTTA President pointed out that the four top teams from the 2019 CTTF championships will advance to the Pan American Games.

Touching on the team’s performance, where the highly rated Chelsea Edghill and Shemar Britton captured gold in the female and male Under 21 categories, Munroe revealed that it was one of Guyana’s better showings at the Caribbean level.

“I think it’s one of the best performances by a senior national team as a collective,” he said. “We had previous years where the team did well…2009 in French Guiana was one of the closest performances, but, I think, in terms of the medal tally and the overall performance of the team, this ranks at the top or maybe among the best performances.”   There is, however, the ‘Dominican Republic wall’ with players from that nation continuing to find ways past the Guyanese. Munroe is keen on better preparing the locals to face that hurdle by creating more exposure for the players as a means of engineering ways to defeat their top Caribbean rivals.

“We are working with the Chinese Embassy, and soon we will have an engagement which will see players being able to travel to China to train; that’s one such engagement. We are also working on having a Chinese coach visit Guyana and other situations similar to that and other avenues and opportunities,” he said.

In Jamaica, Britton and Edghill captured individual Under 21 titles while team leader and National Men’s Champion, Christopher Franklin, captured bronze in the senior singles event. Lefty Trenace Low and Edghill also won bronze in the female singles event. Guyana also dominated the team event, grabbing silver in both the male and female categories while Lowe and Edghill captured silver in the doubles event. (Stabroek News)