Tue | Jan 31, 2023

There is a thirst for table tennis – JTTA president

Published:Tuesday | November 29, 2022 | 12:10 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
MATCH POINT: Runner-up Rudolph Sinclair (right)  makes a final bid for glory against Mark Phillips at last Saturday’s JTTA President’s Trophy tournament at the G.C. Foster College.
MATCH POINT: Runner-up Rudolph Sinclair (right) makes a final bid for glory against Mark Phillips at last Saturday’s JTTA President’s Trophy tournament at the G.C. Foster College.
Andrew Lue
Andrew Lue
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Speaking at last Saturday’s President’s Trophy table tennis tournament, JTTA President Andrew Lue said there was what he described as a thirst for the sport. Lue was led to that conclusion by the level of support and the enthusiasm of the...

Speaking at last Saturday’s President’s Trophy table tennis tournament, JTTA President Andrew Lue said there was what he described as a thirst for the sport. Lue was led to that conclusion by the level of support and the enthusiasm of the competitors in the event which was held at the G.C. Foster College for Physical Education and Sport.

“As we can see from the turnout and the support, there was a thirst for the tournament. I’m really happy with the way it turned out. Now it’s after 10 o’clock and we still have two games to go, so, yes, I’m really pleased with how it went,” he said with genuine satisfaction in his voice.

The one-day tournament received almost 180 entries, prompting Lue’s sole regret about the event.

“I’m only sorry that we weren’t able to spread it over two days,” he reflected, “so we could have better quality and we could have doubles and more events.”

Saturday also saw female players playing against their male counterparts in the men’s B section. The reintroduction of the provision gave fans one of the best matches of the day. Tsenaye Lewis, winner of the women’s and the under-19 singles, battled former national cadet player Matthew Fung in a five-set classic, with Fung holding his nerve to win at the very end.

That seems to sharpen Lewis for two battles with her sister Gianna, in the women’s singles and the under 19 singles, and she won both of those finals.

The President’s Trophy capped a period with several tournaments. With regional senior and youth championships to come early in the new year, the JTTA president cheered and looked ahead.

“I’m happy for the enthusiasm. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to build on it next year, get a squad in training, get some leagues going, and concentrate also on the schools and intercollegiate competitions,” he added.

In recent weeks, the sport has witnessed competitions staged by the Kingston and St Andrew Table Tennis Association and the Jamaica Table Tennis Players Association, and smaller events put on by the Supersonic Table Tennis Club and Infinity Table Tennis.

Lue noted the buzz he witnessed among the youngest players present at G.C. Foster.

“The 11- and 13 year-olds, even when they didn’t have any games, they were playing on the walls, with the volleyball net, the badminton net. They just couldn’t stop playing,” he said.

With this in mind, he has set his sights on reviving inter-school competitions.

“Definitely. We’ll have to try and motivate the school coordinators to get their teams in shape, see if we can get some coaches in the schools to make sure we have a good- quality competition,” Lue underlined.