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T&T’s Thomas, Phillip try for Youth Olympics spot

Thursday, April 10, 2014
T&T’s pairing of Kareem Thomas, left, and Marlon Phillip to compete in Puerto Rico qualifiers.

T&T duo of Kareem Thomas and Marlon Phillip will make their second and final attempt to earn a spot in the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games as qualifiers for the Beach Volley Tournament when they compete at the NORCECA Final Qualification Beach Volleyball Tournament in Carolina, Puerto Rico on Saturday and Sunday.


Other teams featuring in the two-day event include Bahamas, Barbados, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, St Lucia, USA, US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico while among the girls’ teams representing Antigua & Barbuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, El Salvador, Grenada, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Suriname, US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico will compete.


The 12 pairs per gender will compete in the preliminary pool play on Saturday with the top two from the four groups advancing to the single elimination draw on Sunday from which the teams reaching the semifinals secure tickets to Nanjing.


Last November at Maracas Beach, Trinidad, in the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association Zone NORCECA qualifiers, Thomas and Phillip missed out on automatic qualification spot after placing third, via the losers draw in a 21-13, 23-21 win over Bahamians, Gaege Smith Rajahl Moxey, who will also compete in Puerto Rico.


The Jamaican duo of Rojey Hutchinson and Shavar Bryan toppled Barbadians Andriy Staple and Ahkeem Mayers 21-12, 21-12 in the final to secure their tickets.


And among the women, T&T duo Chelsi Ward and Malik Davidson, who earlier in the year participated at the FIVB Under-21 World Beach Volleyball Championship in Croatia, sealed their ticket the Youth Olympic Games after easing past Suriname’s Sigourney Kame and Cabriella Bouterse 21-13, 21-6.


Despite the loss in the decider, Kame and Bouterse will have another chance to get to China but will need to qualify through the Second Round qualifiers this weekend where they will be joined by Barbadians Janina Mayers and Deandra Small, who stayed in the hunt for a spot in China by easing past Cayman Islanders’ Chante Smith-Johnson and Llean Powery 21-15, 21-11 in the losers draw final.