Teenagers Arun Roopnarine and Brittany Joseph were expected to meet up with the rest of their senior team-mates in Panama yesterday enroute to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic as T&T gets set to compete at the 54th Senior Caribbean Table-Tennis Federation Championship from tomorrow until Sunday.
In addition to T&T and the host, Aruba, Barbados, Guyana, St Lucia, Guadeloupe, Curacao, French Guiana, Haiti, Puerto Rico and Jamaica will compete for top honours.
The categories to be contested include teams, men and women singles, doubles, mixed doubles, Under 21 singles, doubles and mixed doubles as well as veterans (Over-45).
The teenage duo is coming off competing on the International Table-Tennis Federation Junior Circuit in Guatemala and El Salvador over the past two weeks with team-mate Aaron Wilson who returned to T&T with coach Dennis La Rose last night.
Roopnarine of PowerGen earned his spot on the men’s senior team in June when he had victories over Everton Sorzano (D’Abadie Youths), Kyle Borneo (UTT) and Kenwin Small (Carenage Blasters) to end with a 3-0 record in a trial series and joined France-based veteran and four-time Caribbean singles champion Dexter St Louis, recently crowned Solo National champion and top ranked local Curtis Humphreys and Borneo, runner-up in the trials on the men’s team.
The local men who won the title in 2009 to end a 29-year drought will be seeking to improve on the silver medal won last year in Guyana behind Dominican Republic.
The team is basically the same as last year with Roopnarine being the lone newcomer as the local association president Reeza Burke, who was part of the team last year is now men’s team coach.
Last year, St Louis, who won his fourth singles crown in 2009 came up short in his quest for a fifth men’s title after going under to Dominican Republic’s Juan Vila in the gold medal match 15-13, 9-11, 5-11, 7-11, 8-11 while Humphreys was a losing semifinalist.
The women’s team will be also be going after the gold medal after getting silver behind Dominican Republic as well.
Leading the women’s title-bid will be reigning Caribbean and four-time winner, France-based Rheann Chung, St Louis’ step-daughter.
She will be joined by Solo National runner-up Linda Partap-Boodhan, Ashley Quashie and 14-year-old Joseph, the newly crowned national champion.
St Louis and Chung are also the defending mixed doubles champion and six-time winners while St Louis and Humphreys got silver in the mixed doubles, and Chung and nine-time national women’s champion, Aleena Edwards, silver in the women’s doubles last time out. However, Edwards who went under to Joseph in the national semifinals earlier this year is unavailable this time around.
In Santo Domingo, Joseph and Roopnarine will also compete in the Under-21 Championships while US-based Dayanand Maharaj competes in the Over-45 (Masters) Division.
Men: Dexter St Louis, Curtis Humphreys, Arun Roopnarine, Kyle Borneo.
Technical staff: Reeza Burke (coach), Colin Cudjoe (manager)
Women: Rheann Chung, Linda Partap-Boodhan, Brittany Joseph, Ashley Quashie.
Under-21: Brittany Joseph, Arun Roopnarine
Over-45 (Masters): Dayanand Maharaj
Coach: Reeza Burke
Manage: Colin Cudjoe