Wed | Oct 4, 2023

Women vs men at President’s Trophy TT tourney

Published:Tuesday | November 22, 2022 | 12:09 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Solesha Young
Solesha Young

Female players will be able to match skills against men at the President’s Trophy table tennis tournament to be staged on Saturday, November 26, at the G.C. Foster College for Physical Education and Sport.

Jamaica Table Tennis Association (JTTA) President Andrew Lue expects the men’s open and women’s open to be the stellar events, with female players seem likely to benefit from stiffer competition than usual. Women will be eligible to play the Men’s B Open.

“We have the stellar events, the men’s open and the women’s open. We also have a B Open which is open to both genders, something that I really wanted to get done in Nationals, but we had to put it off until now. So this is to help the females play against stiffer competition to develop their game,” the JTTA president outlined last Friday.

This measure was first introduced in the 1990s, when 1992 Caribbean champion Sophia Virgo developed into one of the region’s finest female players.

The men’s open winner will take home $40,000, and $20,000 earned by the runner-up, with the corresponding figures for the women’s open and B Open being $30,000 and $15,000.

“We wanted to make it a little more attractive, but at this time that’s what we can afford; and we didn’t want to prolong and put it off any further, so we prefer to just go forward with what we have at this time,” Lue said.

Among the favourites are national champions Kane Watson and Solesha Young.

An additional point of interest may appear in the performance of the players who won 10 medals for Jamaica at the Caribbean Mini and Pre-Cadet Championships in Guyana in October.

“I’m looking forward to seeing them coming out. I’ve been telling them from we were in Guyana,” Lue recounted, “that when we get back home, you have to start training harder than you were before, because now that you see the level of competition in the region, you’ll see where you have a lot of work to do.”

Then he added, “We were able to identify areas that they need to work on, so hopefully they’ll be at a higher level now.”

In Guyana, Jamaica’s team of Ajani Spencer and Anthony Bird beat Trinidad and Tobago 3-1 to win gold in the under-11 boys’ team event.

The President’s Cup will pave the way to local and regional competition in 2023.

“We wanted to give the players, the athletes, something to keep them going. Hopefully, early next year, we can start with some club league competition and another tournament in the first quarter. We also have to bear in mind that in March, we might have the Senior Caribbean Championships in Guyana again, and they’re also trying to ensure that they keep the under-15 and under-19 regional championships earlier in the year; hopefully before the end of March so it doesn’t clash again with the CXC exams,” the JTTA president said.

Entries for this weekend’s tournament closed yesterday.