The 2017 6th Annual DUTCH LADY Primary School Table Tennis Tournament took place this past Friday, May 26, 2017 at the BES Auditorium.
This year over 50 students participated from 4 of our local primary schools. These included St. Joseph, Trinity Methodist, Hummingbird, and Belize Elementary.
The format for the boys division of this year’s tournament was a Round Robin, where the top two player from each group would advance to a Main Single Elimination Draw, and the number three player from each group would advance to a Single Knockout Consolation Draw. This format was similarly used for the Girls Divisions except there wouldn’t be a consolation draw.
The competition kicked off at 9am with the opening ceremonies led by BTTA technical Director Gabriel Guerrero. He briefly explained the tournament ground rules and matches commenced shortly after. Over 100 matches were played throughout the event.
In the Boys Division 16 juniors advanced to the Main Double Elimination Draw. These included Devesh Hukmani, Ethan Hunt, Parin Thadani, Carlos Izaguirre, and Andrew Jaramillo from Belize Elementary; Taye Parkinson, Bryan Hernandez, Goran Gabourel, Peter Morgan, Nathan Savery, Sanjay Pitts, Calvin Reyes, Robert Barrow, and Gareth Humes, from St. Joseph; Ryan Usher from Hummingbird; and Jofny Paguaga of Trinity Methodist.
Last year’s winner, Taye Parkinson from St. Joseph made it to the finals by defeating Peter Morgan (3–0), Nathan Savery (3-0), and Andrew Jaramillo (3-0).
Top ranked junior player, Devesh Hukmani from Belize Elementary made it to the finals by defeating Robert Barrow (3-0), Goran Gabourel (3-0), and Jofny Paguaga (3-0).
The final was set and much anticipated to be a heated match between BES’s best against St. Joseph’s best. Taye Parkinson came into the finals with the single goal of defending his title. Devesh would try his best to upset Taye this time around as he has on several occasions in previous tournaments this year. In an impressive match of offense on offense play, Devesh Hukmani managed to emerge victorious over 3 games to 1.
In the Boys Consolation Draw Erick Corea made an impressive run to the finals blazing through the bottom half of the draw beating out fellow team mates Luis Sosa and Daniel Turton both with a score of 3-0.
In the top half of the draw Che Waight of BES managed to reach the finals by defeating Marquis Rodriguez (3-0), and Kimar Cima (3-2) both of St. Joseph Primary. The final was yet again a St. Joseph and Belize Elementary match-up, however, this time with BES taking the Boys Consolation – Erick Corea winning over Che Waight in a tight match 3 games to 2.
In the Girls Division, 6 juniors made it to the Main Draw. These were Sarai Paguaga of Trinity Methodist; Afeni Lamb and Gabrielle Gabourel of St. Joseph; Aejelee Thurton, and Abigail Thurton of Hummingbird; and Kelly Liu of Belize Elementary.
Last year’s winner, Kelly Liu from BES made it to the finals via a BYE, and by defeating Abigail Thurton (3-0).
Gabrielle Gabourel made it to the finals in similar fashion, via a BYE and by defeating Aejelee Thurton (3-0).
Yet again, the finals would see a St. Joseph/BES matchup. Kelly emerged victorious for BES beating Gabrielle Gabourel 3 games to 0.
The final results of all Divisions were as follows:
1st – Devesh Hukmani - Belize Elementary Primary School
2nd – Taye Parkinson - St. Joseph Primary School
3rd – Jofny Paguaga – Trinity Methodist School
3rd – Andrew Jaramillo - Belize Elementary Primary School
1st – Erick Corea – St. Joseph Primary School
2nd – Che Waight – Belize Elementary Primary School
3rd – Kimar Cima – St. Joseph Primary School
3rd – Daniel Turton – St. Joseph Primary School
1st – Kelly Liu – Belize Elementary Primary School
2nd – Gabrielle Gabourel – St. Joseph Primary School
3rd – Abigail Thurton – Hummingbird Elementary Primary School
3rd – Aejelee Thurton - Hummingbird Elementary Primary School
This year, as the results show, more schools are making it into the main draw and sharing the top positions at the very end. This is a testament of the development of the individual table tennis programs in each of the schools. We hope to continue with our school development initiative assuring that it remains competitive.
Technical Director, Gabriel Guerrero, along with Cuban Coaches Wilber Tito and Juana Barbara on behalf of the SPONSORS Santiago Castillo's DUTCH LADY presented the trophies and gift packages to the winners of this event.
Mr. Guerrero also gave thanks to the SPONSORS for their continued support of this annual event where Primary Schools junior players are given this opportunity to showcase their talent and love for their sport of table tennis.
Trophies were awarded to the top four finalists of the Main Draws for both Boys and Girls Divisions. Packages of products from DUTCH LADY were also presented to all winners in each division, including the Consolation as well.
Each year the BTTA presents a Championship cup to the top performing school. Points are awarded to the top 8 finishers in the Boys Division and the top 4 in the girls division (point allocations are determined by draw sizes). At the end of the day and after tallying all the points the Championship Cup was awarded to St. Joseph Primary School. BES had previously won the year before. St. Joseph will hold the cup for a period of one year until next year’s event where they can vie for the Cup once again.
We also want to take this opportunity to thank all the players, participating schools, parents, spectators, organizers and especially the SPONSORS Santiago Castillo and DUTCH LADY for another successful Primary School event. The increase in number of students participating this year and the overall level of competitiveness observed over the event proves that table tennis is growing in our junior segment and that much more can be expected as we continue to move forward.
CONGRATULATIONS & THANK YOU!!!!
Saturday April 8, 2017
The 2017 – 5th Annual Don Omario's TOP 32 18UNDER CUP took place this Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the BES Auditorium, "the home of table tennis".
The TOP 32 best 18UNDER junior players started out in a Double Elimination Format event with defending Champion and #1 ranked junior, Taye Parkinson; 2014 junior player of the year, Latrell Solis; and 2016 BNE National Champion, Devesh Hukmani all included in the list of participants.
Taye Parkinson being the defending champion is looking for his second win this year towards keeping the coveted cup. Winning three years in a row will do just that. He would face stiff competition however, as all the juniors are hungry for the cup as well. Games were expected to be really heated and competitive. Other top juniors seeking out the cup included Rohit Pagarani, 2016 National’s finalist, and Amiri Hoare who made the finals at this very event last year.
Taye Parkinson being the number one seed and defending champion sat atop the main draw with his greatest rival, Devesh Hukmani opposite him on the other side of the draw. This match up was highly anticipated for the finals, as both athletes finished 1st in the RF&G National Ranking Tournament just three weeks prior in the A and B divisions respectively.
On the road to the finals Taye defeated Daryl Palacio (3 – 0), Goran Gabourel (3 – 0), Latrell Solis (3 – 0), before losing to Amiri Hoare in the match leading into the finals. Amiri’s quick change ups and superb placement proved to be too much for Taye, and so Amiri sent Taye to the loser’s bracket winning 3 games to 1.
Devesh Hukmani defeated Abigail Thurton (3 – 0), Rohit Pagarani 3 – 2, before losing to Amiri Hoare in similar fashion 3 games to 0. In an attempt to try and make it back into the finals he pulled out some of his best shots and managed to overcome Kevin Chen (3 – 1) in his first match in the loser’s bracket. He then played Latrell Solis, but lost 2 games to 3, leaving Devesh with Fourth Place for this event.
Taye and Latrell then played for a spot in the finals. This time the tides had turned. Taye could not overcome Latrell so easily as he did in their first meeting. Latrell continued to pressure Taye with his powerful topspins and aggressive game and this kept Parkinson on edge. Latrell secured his spot in the finals winning 3 games to 2 over Taye Parkinson, leaving Parkinson with third place.
The finals was set. Amiri Hoare and Latrell Solis would have to battle it out for the prestigious Don Omario Cup. The match showcased some excellent play. Amiri completely dominated the first half of the match, winning the first two games and found himself off to a great start in the third set as well. Latrell would not let Amiri close off the match so easily however, pushing the match to a fourth set, and then eventually to a fifth set. This effort by Latrell at an epic comeback however, proved too tiring for Latrell Solis. Amiri, aware that his opponent began to succumb to fatigue, tried drawing out the points longer to further breakdown his opponent. This ultimately proved successful for him, gaining him the victory and this year’s DonOmario Cup.
The final results were as follows:
1st – Amiri Hoare
2nd – Latrell Solis
3rd – Taye Parkinson
4th – Devesh Hukmani
Trophies and the Championship CUP were presented to the winners on behalf of the Sponsors "Travellers" by BTTA President Tux Vasquez and Female National Team Coach, Juana Barbara.
The BTTA also took the opportunity at this event to present the 2016 Player of the year Award. The player of the year is chosen each year by a designated committee and is chosen based on an athlete’s overall performance both locally and abroad, likeability, sportsmanship, and how active they are with events hosted by the association. The winner for 2016 is Devesh Hukmani. The award was presented to him by BTTA president, Tux Vasquez, on behalf of 2016’s Sponsor Creative Marketing. As player of the year he was also presented with the BTTA’s Educational Assistance Award which is a scholarship of $1000 BZ dollars. This is also provided by the Sponsor Creative Marketing.
CONGRATULATION to the winners and a special THANK YOU to the event’s Sponsor "Travellers" for their continued sponsorship and support in the development of table tennis in the junior players. Also a big THANK YOU to Creative Marketing for being 2016’s Player of the year and Scholarship Sponsor.
THANK YOU also goes out to all the players, parents, spectators and organizers of this event.
Sunday 5th March 2017
Today the 1st Annual SMART Junior Ranking table tennis tournament was held. Players competed in three categories Under 12, 15 and 18 for first, second and third place titles.
The tournament saw a high level of play among our juniors, yet another demonstration of the rewards that come with a strong youth focus.
In the under 12 category Taye Parkinson defeated Gabrielle Gabourel in the finals to take the title while Daniel Turton and Sarai Paguaga shared third place.
The under 15 title saw a dramatic duel between Rohit Pagarani and Devesh Hukmani, with Pararani holding firm with strong defense and counter attack shots to gain the title. Third place finishers in this category were Amiri Hoare and Terry Su.
The under 18 stage was set in the finals between Taye Parkinson and Latrell Solis. Both players have the honor of being players of the year in 2015 and 2014 respectively. Latrell used this tournament to make a comeback from a brief layoff, but Parkinson’s game was too much and Taye won convincingly in 4 straight sets. Devesh Hukmani and Kevin Chen both came in third for this prestigious category.
The Belize Table Tennis Association (BTTA) thanks SMART for their continued support for table tennis in Belize especially for their commitment to our youth.
From the 8th to the 11th of February, the Central American U15, U18 Junior Championships was hosted in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The Belize Table Tennis Association in partnership with the Belize Olympic Committee sent a delegation to participate in both age categories. Events included Singles, Doubles, Team, and Mixed Doubles. 8 countries were in participation including Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama.
While only being able to match the results of our previous year, the improvement that the Belizean junior athletes have made was quite noticeable. While most of the players who participate in these events from the other countries begin their career at very young ages and have been playing for over 5 or 6 years, our athletes have only been training for just under two years. Despite this our players have proven to be quite resilient, and were able to hold their own against some of the big shot players, like Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
This was evident from the very beginning when our very own 12 year old Taye Parkinson played Alfredo Sanchez, 2016 Central American U13 Championships Bronze Medalist, and won two sets off of him. This startled the Costa Rica Team, forcing them into some tough situations. Like a seasoned player however, Alfredo Sanchez was able to bounce back, and with some close calls on edge and net balls, was able to secure the win over our young fighter, winning 4-2 in the end. After this match, Taye Parkinson gained some much deserved respect from his Costa Rican peers who would surely continue to keep an eye on him over the competition and years to come.
Another country who took notice of our players’ improvements was El Salvador. Known to be one of the best in the region, second only to Mexico, El Salvador usually find themselves quite comfortable when competing against their neighbors, especially Belize who just recently arrived on the scene. Not this time however, they soon realized that they were playing against a much more formidable team. Their top player Enzo Leiva played against our own, Devesh Hukmani, and struggled to secure each game. Devesh fought hard staying in the counter rallies with the much more experienced Enzo, winning many points. Devesh contested each game rather closely, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10, with the win eventually going to Enzo. Each game Enzo would serve out the match pulling off some great serves which proved too much for Devesh. Enzo knew he could lose the match had Devesh received a bit better. He gave a big hug to Devesh at the close of the game. In a similar fashion, Rohit Pagarani, and Taye Parkinson played members of the El Salvador Team. Rohit Pagarani played Mateo Martinez, with similar scores 12-10, 11-6, 11-8. And Taye Parkinson played Kelvin Perez, winning two sets off of him. The final results were 13-11, 6-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, (3 games to 2 in favor of El Salvador). At this point El Salvador knew that future matches against our players would not be easy. They’d tread with caution going forward.
Belize’s greatest victories were against Honduras. Both our U15 team (Taye Parkinson, Devesh Hukmani, Rohit Pagarani) and our U18 team (Kevin Chen, Manuel Castellanos, Amiri Hoare) won in convincing fashion 3-0, and 3-1 respectively over the Honduras teams. Both these matches were later in the evening, which gave Belize enough time to prepare going into the matches. The U18 team, despite going against much more experienced players, still managed to play at a very high level. Most notable was Kevin Chen who secured the majority of wins for Belize in the U18 division, with Amiri Hoare coming in a close second. This is much improvement over last year where the U18 team did not fare of very well, losing most matches. The rate with which team Belize has developed over the past two years is quite encouraging, especially too since this is only the second time the U18 team has played this event.
Other noticeable wins during the event included Rohit’s and Devesh’s win over Guatemalan duo Andy Muscoso and Ricardo Gatica. Tied with El Salvador, Guatemala is the second best team in the region. They, like El Salvador, are confident in their domination over the other countries. Their domination would end with this match however, as Rohit and Devesh pulled off a great win against their doubles team with very close matches, winning the first game 11-9, losing the second 11-7, winning the third 11-8, but losing the fourth 12-10. Much controversy surrounded this game as in this set Belize was down 10-11. Andy Muscoso was to serve. He served, Devesh received and the umpire called the match to Guatemala. He said Rohit was to receive and so Belize lost that game. It was quite controversial as umpires are to check before the start of serve that the order is correct. In our view, he withheld this information to himself and waited for the serve to be executed, and then awarded the point to Guatemala. This is not to say however, that the Belizean pair should have checked themselves, but incidences like these are rather strange as umpires regularly enforce correct order of serve and receiving before the rally and even during rally without penalty to any team. It was clear at least in the Belize’s team view that the umpire was trying to give an edge to the Guatemalan team, the umpire being a Guatemalan himself. Rohit and Devesh were quite upset over this during the changeover, but their coach, Gabriel Guerrero, reiterated that the next game was more important and that their focus during that game would be paramount. The duo regrouped and played an excellent fifth game winning over Guatemala 11-9, 3 games to 2. This game put the Belizean duo into the top 8. They lost this quarterfinal match, however, to Costa Rican Doubles Team Alfredo Sanchez and Ricardo Azofeia, the same two players who they could not overcome in the singles of team event.
On a whole Belize won many individual games and matches as a team, but could not secure a spot on the main draw for the final day of singles competition. The draws were rather tough on our athletes, being in groups with the top players from Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Each of our athletes placed third in their groups but needed a first or second to move on. Kelly Liu, first time female athlete representing Belize at the games, did remarkably well both in her singles and mixed doubles games with Rohit Pagarani. While not able to secure any matches, she fought quite valiantly. Her nerves definitely got the best of her this time around, but her progress is encouraging as noted by several coaches from various countries. Her technical skill level is quite good for her age, but she would need more control of her psyche in order to secure wins in the future.
All in all, Belize’s performance highlights great progress, and gives us great encouragement moving forward. This is the second time most of these athletes are participating in these games and they are finally beginning to hone in on what it takes to compete internationally. They are operating like a team, assisting each other out in every way they can. They are focused and determined, and much better able to execute game strategy and deliver outcomes. Coach Gabriel Guerrero marvels over the prospects for the upcoming years. He explains that they have been working together for only about a year, and they have grown quite exponentially in such a short time. He noted that the next few years will be very exciting for Belize table tennis. This is great News!
A big thanks goes out to the Belize Olympic Committee who is one of our most devoted sponsors for this event, the Belize Bank, Atlantic Bank, Atlantic Insurance, Loans 2 Go, the Board of Directors of the BTTA, coaches, parents, family, friends, and all other supporters of the team. This would not be possible without everyone's contribution.
The Energy of High School Table Tennis
Saturday 4th February 2017
The 5th Annual St. John’s College (SJC) Table Tennis tournament kicked off in high gear with some thirty-two players participating in two categories the entry and advanced levels.
In the entry level section of the tournament the air was filled with fun, excitement and brotherhood. Players were placed in groups of five to battle things out on a table. After the dust settled on each table the best two advanced to a knockout round. And as the sun was setting four players emerged in the semi finals where Alain Gonzalez defeated Jonah Chebat and Sergio Glori defeated Edward Matus. In the finals it was Alain with his strong defense and under spin serve that allowed him to edge past Sergio in a 3-1 final score.
In the advanced level - Terry Su, Amiri Hoare, Kevin Chen and Luis Bardales emerged. Terry had to fight off Luis to challenge Kevin for a shot at the title. However, Kevin proved too much and edged out the first former 3-2 in sets to move up for a chance of becoming SJC’s best player for 2017.
In the finals both Amiri Hoare and Kevin Chen fought hard, but in the end it was the impenetrable iron wall of Amiri’s game that wore down Kevin’s attack. Amiri Hoare was victorious and declared the new SJC champ!
This tournament comes on the heels of the Central American Table Tennis Championships to be held this week in Guatemala. Three of the players on Team Belize comes from SJC - Amiri Hoare, Kevin Chen and Manuel Castellanos.
Special thanks to the Belize Table Tennis Association (BTTA) for their collaboration with our school in the annual event. This partnership is what moves the sport forward.