Trinidad’s, St. Louis/Chung snatch CRTTF Mixed Doubles title
-First round exit for Guyanese in Women’s Doubles contest
By Edison Jefford
Trinidad and Tobago’s French-based table tennis stars, Dexter St. Louis and Rheann Chung turned the tables on the Dominican Republic yesterday afternoon, snatching the Mixed Doubles title in the final at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
St. Louis and Chung thrashed the Dominican Republic’s, Eva Brito and Juan Vila Jr. in straight sets 11-6, 11-4 and 12-10 to win their first title in the 2011 Caribbean and Regional Table Tennis Federation (CRTTF) Senior Championships.
Many enthusiasts felt, with good reason, that the intense, crafty and competitive semi-final with St. Louis/Chung against the Dominican Republic’s, Johenny Valdez and Emil Santos was in fact contested like the final. It was dubbed the best game of the Mixed Doubles competition.
St. Louis and Chung had dropped the first set 6-11 before returning to take the next two sets 11-6 and 11-7 in the second semi-final. However, Valdez/Santos stalled their intentions of playing for the title when they took the fourth set 8-11 in a keen contest.
Santos had defeated St. Louis the night before in a crucial game of the men’s team contest to put the Dominican Republic on a winning path. Their Mixed Doubles semi was much about revenge as it was about a chance to play for the coveted title.
St. Louis and Chung, a pair that has been playing together since 2001 when they won their first Mixed Doubles title in the Dominican Republic, easily won the fifth set 11-7 and returned about 15 minutes later to easily topple Brito/Vila Jr. for the top prize.
Brito/Vila Jr. had defeated their counterparts, Kircia Diaz and Samuel Galvez in the first semi of the Mixed Doubles competition 11-4, 12-10 and 11-6. The Guyanese teams did not get past what was an intense quarterfinal round that separated the best teams.
St. Louis told Kaieteur Sport that he believes the Dominican Republic got the better of them in the team’s competition because they played easier teams. He said that his Trinidadian team was tired after playing a few difficult preliminary games.
“I think they (Dominican Republic) were physically better than us. We just had difficult matches early on and that made us a bit tired. I think if we had played the finals today (yesterday), we would have won one of them at least,” St. Louis supposed.
His playing partner, Chung said that she knew that their major competition in the Championships would have been the Spanish-speaking country. She dropped a game against Brito in the women team’s contest, and said that she had to get back at her psychologically. “I had to look at getting back my psychological edge,” Chung told this newspaper yesterday.
In the Women’s Doubles competition, hosts, Guyana exited in the first round yesterday evening, after its four teams failed to make an impact in the obviously strong contests. It meant that none of the Guyanese women’s teams will play for a medal.
Guyana’s Chelsea Edghill and Desiree Lancaster lost 0-3 to Trinidad and Tobago; Jody-Ann Blake and Natalie Cummings lost 1-3 to Barbados’ Angela Reid and Nicole Alleyne; Ambrose Thomas and Adielle Rosheuvel lost 0-3 to Dominican Republic’s Brito and Valdez; Trenace Lowe and Michelle John lost 1-3 to Barbados’ Sherrice Felix and Krystle Harvey.
Meanwhile, Guyana’s Christopher Franklin and Paul Meusa beat Jamaica’s Kane Watson and Simon Tomlinson 3-2 to advance out of the first round; Idi Lewis and Paul David whipped Barbados’ Francisco Moss and Mark Dowell 3-0 to also advance.
The competition continues today with the final of the Women and Men’s Doubles competition slated to occur before lunch. Following the lunch break, the Under-21 Boys and Girls contest is expected to commence and concluded later tonight.