May 29, 2013 Sports
By Edison Jefford
It was just amazing to watch an unassuming 14-year-old Queens College student win the Under-15, U-18 and U-21 titles in the Guyana Table Tennis Association (GTTA) and the National Sport Commission (NSC) Independence tournament last weekend.
The general sentiment was indifferently just ‘oh yeah, that’s good for him’ but when the teenager came from
two sets down to thrash his senior counterpart, Edinho Lewis in six sets to win the big prize, the Men’s Singles title, he seriously raised eyebrows.
Shemar Britton is a quiet, disciplined and reserved player, who is always courteous; at least he is to this writer. He has not had performances before that catapulted him to the spotlight, but he did not forsake his racquet and his extra-curriculum passion.
And it paid off big for him: four Singles titles at a single event speak of utter dominance that will surely earn him more regular appearances on national teams. Britton annihilated Lewis, who had represented Guyana in 2010 on a senior team at the Commonwealth Games in India, to get the Men’s Singles title.
Britton lost the first two sets 10-12, 7-11, but returned to take the next four 12-10, 11-9, 11-6 and 11-7 under immense pressure. Imagine a 14-year-old school boy coming from two sets down in a final to beat a senior player that represented Guyana in India.
Good stuff indeed! And more so, good for the club that is churning out table tennis champions in bunches, Malteenoes Sports Club. Coach, Idi Lewis, a former Caribbean Men’s Singles medallist with a bronze, seems to have developed a programme at the club.
He spoke with Kaieteur Sport yesterday and described Britton as “young, extremely talented and a very hard worker”. Lewis said that Britton has a bright future once he continues with a positive attitude and remains discipline and focused on his development.
“What really makes him special is as soon as I tell or give him advice on his game; whether it is on a new technique or strengthening certain aspects of his game, when I look around a minute or two afterward, he is on a table practicing,” Lewis indicated.
The former national player turned Coach, who was part of the contingent to Paris for the World Championships a few weeks back, said that Britton would often implement his training regiment until it sticks and becomes a part of his game. Lewis said that if Britton continues in that vain, he will definitely become a consistent force to reckon with in the future.
Lewis thanked Britton’s mom, Dawn Britton, for unrelenting support. He said those are definite structures that lead to success ultimately. Britton has gotten the attention of enthusiasts, it is only time before he boggles the mind with his ingrained brilliance.
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