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St Louis on course in Solo singles
France-based five-time Caribbean champion Dexter St Louis remained one on course to capture the Solo National Table Tennis men’s championship crown after advancing to the quarterfinals with relative ease at the Central Regional Indoor Sports Arena, Chaguanas on Monday night.
Playing in a round-robin pool of three players, the 47-year-old St Louis of Solo Crusaders who has already captured the mixed doubles title with his step-daughter Rheann Chung registered a comfortable win over his lone group opponent Petrotrin’s Hozare Gopaul 11-7,11-4, 11-6 as Tobago Slammers Benoni Daniel defaulted.
The third ranked St Louis returned to the same venue on Monday night and defeated Arima Hawks’ Mark Modeste 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 and then scolded WASA’s Franklyn Seechan 11-2, 11-8, 11-6 to set up a quarterfinal with teenage sensation Aaron Wilson, who played once on the weekend as well, defeating Kwame Lawrence, 13-11, 11-8, 11-5 with Derron Douglas absent before outclassing Crusaders’ Andrew Alexander 11-7, 11-7, 11-2 and PowerGen’s Sarvesh Mungal 11-4, 11-2, 12-10 in his matches on Monday.
Joining St Louis and Wilson, the reigning Caribbean Junior champion and senior bronze medal winner were defending champions Yuvraaj Dookram, top ranked Curtis Humphreys, Canada-based David Mahabir, five-time national champion Reeza Burke, Arun Roopnarine and Lionel Darceuil.
Dookram who along with Humphreys combined to lead WASA to the men’s team title on Saturday had an easy stroll into the knockout phase as he swept past Carenage Blasters’ Nigel Morgan 11-1, 11-4, 11-2 while on Monday he booted University of T&T’s (UTT) Kyle Borneo 11-3, 8-11, 12-10, 11-8 before coming from behind to oust Alaric Humphreys 10-12, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7 and faced off with Darceuil last night.
Darceuil also of Hawks schooled Sanga Quamina of Blasters 11-7, 11-9, 12-10 and rallied past Gladiators’ Aaron Edwards 6-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-5, 11-5 in the group qualifiers after which he stopped another Edwards (Andrew), 11-8, 11-4, 11-7 and then Everton Sorzano of D’Abadie Youths’ 10-12, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5.
The older Humphreys, Curtis, also coasted, beating Petrotrin’s David Gopaul 11-8, 11-8, 11-2 and Blasters’ Michael Noel 11-6, 11-4, 11-1 in the group stage and then brushed aside Blasters’ Morgan 11-4, 11-5, 11-3 and PowerGen’s Anson Lowkie 11-3, 11-3, 12-10.
In last night’s quarterfinals, Curtis came up against UTT’s Roopnarine who outplayed Daniel Henriques 11-3, 11-4, 7-11, 11-4 and Arima Hawks' Anthony Modeste 11-9, 11-6, 11-8 on the weekend and followed up with impressive knockout victories over Petrotrin’s Hazare Gopaul 11-9, 11-6, 11-6 and Blasters’ Kenwin Small 11-4, 11-3,
Mahabir, a former Caribbean veteran champion, brushed aside Crusaders’ Andrew Alexander 11-1, 11-7, 11-5 in his lone pool match while he blasted Quamina 11-3, 11-5, 11-6 and Kenneth Parmanand 11-2, 11-6, 11-1.