TT players confident of success at Cadet and Junior Champs in Cuba
A 17-member table tennis team left Jamaica on Monday for Cuba where players began their quest in the annual regional Cadet and Junior Table Tennis Championships in Havana yesterday for places in the Latin American Championships next year.
The announcement was made by Jamaica Table Tennis Association president Godfrey Lothian at the press conference at the Excelsior High School last Saturday.
The playing members of the Jamaica squad selected are made up of 12 junior players, four girls, and eight boys who are accompanied by five officials headed by the JTTA treasurer Darrington Ferguson.
The Cadets will participate in three separate categories — boys' Under-15; girls' Under-15 and boys' Under-18. Each of the teams will be made up of four players. The tournament is expected to end on Saturday, and hosts Cuba, Dominican Republic, Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago are anticipated to be Jamaica's toughest opponents at the Championships. However, men's coach Rohan Schloss is optimistic and like president Lothian is confident that the juveniles will have a good go at doing Jamaica proud as they have been prepared well enough to hold their own against all comers.
"Apart from putting in the training they have shown that they have grasped the essential tactical awareness and skilful approach to make them a real competitive threat to their opponents. And in their present frame of mind with the ability to execute, I am expecting these young guns to continue the Jamaican trend of advancing to the more competitive Latin American Championships," Schloss said.
Jamaica have an unenviable record of progressing from the Cadet Championship into the bigger Latin American Championships, which will be held some time in the coming year.
The Cadet Championships is the first of five international tournaments that the JTTA has scheduled for Jamaica this year. Up next is the World Championships to be held in Japan between April 25 and May 5; the Caribbean Championships in June; the Commonwealth Games at the end of July and the Pan American Games to follow.
The players have gone through their training with great passion and devotion that forced the JTTA president to admit, "From what I have seen from their preparation I have no doubt that they are going to represent Jamaica very well."
Players and officials in the touring party are: Brittany Murray, Ricardo Hall, Margaret Hall (chaperone), Dennis Daniels, Sheryl Green, Mulcia Brown, Onika Francis, Diedre Lewis (U-15 champion girl), Korey Moulton, Dexter Mairs, Orlando Green, Rajni Brown, Tarik Thompson, Rohan Schloss (coach), Sadiki Hines (U-15 champion boy), Sandra Rietti (female coach), and Darrington Ferguson, manager.