The T&T and World table tennis fraternities were plunged into mourning on Thursday following the death of T&T's most celebrated tennis ace Dexter St Louis at the age of 51 years.
St Louis, who has represented T&T at local, regional and international tournaments for many years, died after a short illness in Bordeaux, France yesterday evening. He was surrounded by his wife Jeromaine and two daughters, Rheann Chung and Axelle.
As news spread of his untimely passing, Guardian Media Sports department was bombarded by members of the wider sporting fraternity, expressing condolences for his family.
A release from the player's family said: "On behalf of the family of Dexter St Louis, it is with great regret and sadness that we announce the death of T&T’s most indomitable table tennis champion and two-time Olympic qualifier, Dexter St Louis."
It stated, "Dexter will be remembered for his relentless work ethic, sense of humour and passion for justice, as well as for his honesty, fair-play and his open and transparent approach to sport and to life."
Born on March 21, 1968, St Louis first represented T&T in the sport back in 1983 at the age of 15 years. In the early 1990s after defeating France-based players and winning the tournament in Martinique, he received his first full professional contract to play with a club in France. St Louis continued to represent his country proudly, most recently at last year's Commonwealth Games in Australia.
He qualified for the 1996 Atlanta and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the only T&T player to ever qualify for the Olympic's biggest stage.
He was a five-time Caribbean Singles champion, a former mixed doubles winner with his step-daughter Chung, as well as a men's doubles champion with Curtis Humphreys. He also won doubles with Anthony "Sandfly" Brown and partnered with Reeza Burke and Khaleel Asgarali at the regional tournament.