This past Sunday December 10 2017 the Belize Table Tennis Association held its 2017 BNE National Championships. Over 40 players participated across four categories which included Men Singles, Women Singles, Men's Double, and Mixed Doubles.
The Results were as follows:
1st - Taye Parkinson
2nd - Rohit Pagarani
3rd - Devesh Hukmani & Terry Su
1st - Gabrielle Gabourel
2nd - Kelly Liu
3rd - Abigail Thurton & Sarai Paguaga
1st - Devesh Hukmani/Rohit Pagarani
2nd - Taye Parkinson/Terry Su
3rd - Che Waight/Austin Waight & Zhi Chen/Carlos Cui
1st - Devesh Hukmani/Gabrielle Gabourel
2nd - Terry Su/Kelly Liu
3rd - Rohit Pagarani/Abigail Thurton & Jofny Paguaga/ Sarai Paguaga
Trophies were awarded to all participants by BTTA Tournament Director Ariel Guerrero and coach Juana Barbara Machado. This event continues to be one of our most competitive. We'd like to thank our Sponsor Belize Natural Energy for their continued support of this event, and all others who made this event possible.
2017 turned out to be yet another year filled with many milestones for table tennis in Belize with our delegations participating in more regional and international events, even managing to get several gold, silver, and bronze medals. Our dedication to our youth has continually shown to be of great success and our results abroad is testament to that. We thank our players and their parents who work so hard to make this happen as well as the coaches who work with them. We look forward to the new year and what it will bring for our sport of table tennis!
The Development Continues....
12 countries participated in this event including Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Panama, Costa Rica, USA, Sweden, Chile, India, Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago.
The first day of competition began with the Team event in the U15 and U18 categories. The Belize team played in the U15 category and was in a group with Costa Rica C and El Salvador F. The boys qualified out of the group beating El Salvador 3 – 0, but lost to Costa Rica C 1 game to 3.
They were set to play their first match in the main draw on day 2 against Costa Rica B and won in a tight game 3 – 2. They advanced to the bronze medal match and played against Guatemala B, but lost 0 – 3. They would have to settle for fourth place in the U15 Team event.
On day three the boys played the qualification rounds of the singles event for the U15 category and the doubles main draw for the U15 category as well. In the singles they were both placed into separate groups where they would each play against players from Puerto Rico, Sweden and El Salvador. Puerto Rico and Sweden were the two top countries going into this event, so the boys knew they would need to work hard to overcome them. Devesh Hukmani and Taye Parkinson both played their first matches against the players from Puerto Rico, Devesh vs Gustavo Cruz and Taye vs Daniel Hernandez. Both lost 0 – 3. They both then played the players from El Salvador, Josue Mora, and David Mongue, and both won their matches 3 – 0. In their final game for the day they faced their toughest challenges yet, the Swedes. Devesh Hukmani was set to play against their strongest U15 player, Teodor Siljeholm. This player utilized a very strong low slow looping technique which Devesh was not anticipating. He had difficulties adjusting, and despite changing tactics to minimize this type of attack from his opponent, he could not overcome the very quick swede and lost 0 – 3. Devesh finished 3rd in his group and so did not qualify for the main draw in the U15 event. Taye Parkinson also had to face Sweden in his final round robin match. He played against Elias Sjorgen, the youngest member of the Swedish team. He is the youngest, but by no means the weakest. Taye played a great match, but just fell short in the end losing 11 – 5 in the fifth set. The variety of play of the Swede, especially in the last set, forced Taye into making many unforced errors. It was a great match for Taye Parkinson. He also placed third in the group and did not qualify for the main draw.
In the U15 doubles the boys were slated to play against Costa Rica’s Alfredo Sanchez and Ricardo Azofeifa in the first round. Though they played a great match, moving well and countering well, they could not overcome the powerful topspins of their much older opponents. They lost 1 game to 3. Their third day was a challenging one, but an important one. It helped them prepare mentally for the next day’s event - the U13 singles.
On the fourth day, the mini cadet singles round robin began. Taye Parkinson was placed in a group with Edgardo Sanchez from El Salvador, Luis Fernando Ton of Guatemala, and Edvin Lindemalm of Sweden. Taye managed to overcome his opponents quite convincingly winning against each of the other players in his group 3 games to 0. He qualified 1st out of his group. This put him at a great advantage going into the final day where he would be placed against a second seed from another group in the main draw.
Devesh Hukmani was placed in a group with Rodrigo Sanchez of El Salvador, Luis Ton (Luis Fernando Ton’s older and more experienced brother) of Guatemala, and Elias Sjorgen (the swede who Taye Parkinson could not overcome in the previous day’s singles event). Devesh definitely had his work cut out for him as he was in quite a tough group. Despite this, Devesh remained optimistic going into his matches. His first match was against Luis Ton from Guatemala. Luis was very quick off his feet and hit the balls really hard. Devesh had a hard time getting into his topspin play as Luis kept forcing him off the table with his quick attacks. Luis played with great control and strong underspin play forcing Devesh into a passive gameplay, looking for openings to attack. When he would find an opening to attack Luis would be ready to counter and play the ball deep. This became more challenging for Devesh as the game progressed as it demanded a lot physically from him. Devesh could not overcome Luis and lost 1 game to 3.
Devesh’s next match was against Rodrigo Sanchez from El Salvador. This match was a great game for Devesh as he needed the win to give him the confidence to play against the Swede who would be waiting for Devesh in the last round robin match. Devesh would need to conserve his energy for this last match, and so tried to play quick points aggressively at the table. He executed this strategy well despite the hard attacking player from El Salvador. Devesh won this match 3 games to 1.
With one game lost to the Guatemalan and one win under his belt from the Salvadorian, he would need to win the Swede who had beaten Taye in the previous day’s round robin to qualify out of his group. Devesh prepared well going into this final match, understanding that he would need to stay aggressive and to remain focused in order to anticipate the quick changeups which the Swede favors while playing. He played an excellent match using his serves to dominate play early on and getting in his quick attacks off of his inside-out forehands. He managed to dictate play for the majority of the match with his angled receives, dominating forehand topspins, and his backhand punch play. He won this match 3 games to 1. With two wins and one loss he qualified second out of his group. He would be set to play against the number one seed of another group in the main draw on the final day.
On the final day both Taye Parkinson and Devesh Hukmani would play for the bronze medal in the singles event of the mini cadet category in their first matches. Taye Parkinson was set to play against Kevin Brunzell of Sweden (a long pips backhand chopper), while Devesh Hukmani was set to play against the Latin American Cadet Champion from Puerto Rico, Angel Naranjo.
Both boys were prepped for these matches. Their coaches helped them to study their opponents from the day before and worked with them to develop a strategic and tactical plan to play them. In the morning before the match, the students warmed up preparing for the games that were ahead. Both matches started promptly at 9:30am in the morning. Devesh began playing quite flawlessly in the beginning getting up quickly to 5 – 0 in the first game. Slowly, the Latin American champion from Puerto Rico made his way back into the game making some excellent backhand topspin plays into Devesh’s open court. Devesh still managed to fend off Angel, however, holding on to the game at 9-7. At this point Devesh began making some questionable service choices and this led the game to an even 9 – 9. Feeling the game slipping away from him, he became desperate going for more power in his shots in an attempt to try and take away time from his opponent and win the points by overcoming him by force. He instead made two unforced errors giving the first game to Angel Naranjo. During the changeover, Devesh regrouped, understanding that he’d have to play more precisely especially against a player of such quality. He came out playing strong winning the first three points, but was quickly stopped by Angel who decided to play a short game. This forced Devesh to play over the table if he wanted to continue with his strong top spin play. This caused Devesh to become a bit uneasy, as he prefers playing his heavy topspins off the table. Angel would not let him, however, and made Devesh very apprehensive once attacking over the table. This forced several errors from Devesh and it made him play with unease. Angel took this second game 11 – 5. In the third game, Devesh knew he would have to overcome his nerves in order to execute the plan that he and his coach had developed beforehand. It was working successfully for him in the first and second game, but his nerves were getting the best of him. In the third game, he had a slow start, but he managed to make his way back up and managed to stay with Angel going point for point. Angel began playing more aggressively and blocking very well, countering Devesh’s attacks forcing Devesh to have to move very quickly and deliberately. Despite taking the time out to regroup, Devesh could not control his nerves, and had difficulties making the necessary footwork preparations to counter Angel’s game and execute his gameplan. Angel Naranjo eventually took this set as well 11-6. Being that this is Devesh’s first international event against players at the highest levels of the game, he managed to play really well. This game presented him with a unique opportunity to try and control his emotions while playing an important match against a tough opponent. He was unsuccessful this time around, but the experience was invaluable to him and his development. He promised himself that he would not let his nerves get the best of him again. Only time will certainly tell.
Now that Devesh was knocked out, this would mean that Taye Parkinson was Belize’s last hope of medalling at this international event. Taye Parkinson should have an easier time than Devesh as he was set to play against the second seed from another group. While this might be true, any player from Sweden is a formidable opponent, especially a long pips backhand defensive player. Playing this style requires a lot of ingenuity, patience, and knowing exactly when to attack. Taye would have to bring out his best game in order to win. The first game was extremely close, with Taye just edging out his opponent 11 – 9. During the changeover, Taye was reminded to stay focus and keep reading the spin in the ball - play slow and deliberately. This set also proved to be challenging with both players holding serve and each player making very few unforced errors. In the end the swede took the initiative and became a bit more aggressive in the final points and took the game 11 – 9. This took Taye by surprised and it definitely shook him up. In the preceding game Taye had trouble adjusting to the quick attacking play the swede suddenly adapted. He lost the third game 11 – 4. Going into the fourth game Taye knew he would have to play his third ball attacks well, keep the points short, and play the angles away from his opponent and then into his opponents body. This paid great dividends for him and he managed to win the fourth set 11 – 6. It all came down to the final game in the bronze medal match. Like the first and second game, this game was close. Both players played conservatively, making sure to hold serve, receiving well, and putting the ball into play. At 5 – 5, Taye felt he needed to change things up to disrupt this pattern and so began attacking more aggressively. He made some questionable serves and plays and ended up making two unforced errors in a row giving his opponent a 7 – 5 lead over him. He took a short time out to regroup. Still a bit unsettled he continued to make a few unforced errors, giving his opponent a 10 – 6 lead. He then began making his way back into the game all the way to 10 – 9. He decided to serve wide into this opponents pips backhand, which was a smart choice to make, but he rushed the ball and instead of making the clear winner down the line into the open court, he hit it into the net giving his opponent the win 3 games to 2, 11 – 9 in the final set. It was a close match and a tough loss for him as he knew he was only a few points away from securing at least a bronze medal in his first world level event. Like Devesh, he finished the event with fourth place.
For the first time playing in an ITTF International World Junior Circuit Event, our juniors have done exceptionally well. All the participating countries took notice of Belize’s athletes and their young age, and both Taye Parkinson and Devesh Hukmani received much respect from all the players who participated. They acknowledged that in a few years Belize could very well be winning at these events, especially considering how well the boys played in their first international event. These junior athletes were sent out to this competition to push their level further, to gain necessary experience which should help them win future events. To have played and almost secured several bronze medals, in the singles and team events, was much more than was anticipated for them. We are extremely proud of their results and performance.
We are confident that so long as we continue to work with our junior players, we will continue to receive positive results. Last year, Taye Parkinson was able to medal in the singles event at the Central American U11 Championships, and he along with Devesh Hukmani were able to place 1st in singles and doubles at the U13 Codicader event as well. A week ago he along with Devesh Hukmani managed to secure bronze for the doubles event, and Devesh was able to medal in the singles event at the U13 Central American Championship. Now, they have played and almost secured a medal in a World Junior Circuit event. This is remarkable especially considering that all this has come only two years after the work began with our junior players in our body 2000 facility. We are very proud of this result!
The BTTA would like to give a big THANK YOU to the Belize Olympic Committee for its support in this event. Without their support this event would not have been possible. We’d also like to thank the junior players and their parents for their commitment and hard work; our coaches, Wilber Tito Bientz and Gabriel Guerrero for preparing the juniors leading up to the event and for working with them as coaches during the event; to the organizers of the event in El Salvador for organizing such on an excellent tournament; and all others who contributed towards making this event a successful one.
Full Results HERE
Sunday August 13, 2017
The 2017 Brodie’s Annual Strong & Weak Doubles Table Tennis Tournament took place this past Sunday, August 13, 2017 at the BES Auditorium, the home of table tennis.
Competing in a DOUBLE ELIMINATION Format, 13 Strong & Weak Doubles Team began competing for this year’s title. Last year’s winners Carlos Cui and Terry Su could not form a pair this year as Terry has grown significantly into a strong player of his own.
Terry instead played this year with close friend Kelly Liu in a mixed double pairing. They made quite the run going all the way to the semis beating out HIrthik Bhojwani and Mohit Vanjani (3-0), Amiri Hoare and Denzel Young (3-1), and Juana Machado and Gabrielle Gabourel (3-0). They were then slated to play against Taye Parkinson and Goran Gabourel. They lost (1-3) and was sent down to the loser's bracket.
Taye Parkinson and Goran Gabourel made their way to the finals undefeated by beating out Jaylen Nicholson and Parin Thadani, Yasser Musa and Andrew Jaramillo, Wilber Bientz and Abigail Thurton.
Another impressive run was made by Jofny Paguaga and Rohit Pagarani. They won their first match against Latrell Solis and Jai Chawla (3-1), but fell short in the second round to Juana Machado and Gabrielle Gabourel losing 2 games to 3. They then fought their way back through the loser's bracket making their way to the finals by overcoming Aya Kubota and Sarai Paguaga, Amiri Hoare and Denzel Young, Wilber Bientz and Abigail Thurton, Devesh Hukmani and Mihir Karnani, and then deafeating Terry Su and Kelly Liu.
The final was then set between Taye Parkinson and Goran Gabourel and Rohit Pagarani and Jofny Paguaga. Rohit and Jofny would need to win twice in order to be crowned champion. The first finals turned out to be an intense match which played out down to the wire. Rohit and Jofny were down two sets, before slowing making their way back into the game and eventually winning 3 games to 2. They then had to do it again as that match resulted in the first loss for Taye and Goran. They would need two losses to be knocked out in this double elimination tournament. The 2nd finals was set, but it seemed the rigorous climb back to the top for Rohit and Jofny proved too much. The final match was definitely a match of endurance and cunning to finish the points as early as possible. Taye and Goran executed a rather impressive game that proved too much for their opponents and they won 3 games to none.
The final results follow:
1st - Taye Parkinson and Goran Gabourel
2nd - Rohit Pagarani and Jofny Paguaga
3rd - Terry Su and Kelly Liu
4th - Devesh Hukmani & Mihir Karnani
On hand to deliver the trophies and gift items was BTTA Director, Yasser Musa, and BTTA coach Juana Barbara Machado on behalf of the Event Sponsor BRODIES.
Trophies and Gift Cards were presented to all the winners.
CONGRATULATIONS to all the Winners, and a big THANK YOU to the SPONSORS BRODIES.
THANK YOU also goes out to all the players, participants, spectators and organizers of this year’s event.
Belize participated for the third time in the 2017 Central American Pre-Infantile U13 & U11 Table Tennis Championships, this time in Tegucigalpa, Honduras from August 3rd to the 6th 2017. This year the Belize delegation comprised of seven players, including for the first time a female team as well. This team comprised of Taye Parkinson (age 12), Goran Gabourel (age 13), Devesh Hukmani (age 12), Jofny Paguaga (age 12), Abigail Thurton (age 12), Gabrielle Gabourel (age 12) and Sarai Paguaga (age 10). They participated in four categories at the event; team, singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, and all played in the U13 category with the exception of Sarai Paguaga who played singles in the female U11 category.
7 Central American countries participated in this event including Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Panama, Costa Rica, and Honduras. Nicaragua was unable to participate in this event yet again. The competition opened on August 3rd with the Team Event. Teams were comprised of two players each and each country could register up to two teams (with the exception of the host country, Honduras, who were allowed four).
Belize had two male teams and one female team. These were Taye Parkinson and Devesh Hukmani for Male Team A, Jofny Paguaga and Goran Gabourel for Male Team B, and Gabrielle Gabourel and Abigail Thurton for Girls team A.
Belize Male Team A managed to secure themselves as 1st in their group, while Male Team B and Female Team A managed 3rd and 4th place in their groups respectively.
The results were as follows:
Belize Male A (Taye Parkinson/Devesh Hukmani) won over Honduras A (3-0), and Panama B (3-0).
Belize Male B (Goran Gabourel/ Jofny Paguaga) won over Honduras B (3-0), but lost to Mexico A and El Salvador A (0-3).
Belize Female A (Abigail Thurton/Gabrielle Gabourel) lost to Costa Rica A, Mexico A, and Guatemala B (0-3)
The team event was scheduled to finish in the morning of the second day of the competition with the doubles event to follow in the afternoon. Belize Team A had advanced to the draw for this day’s event. Due to their performance in the qualification round they received a BYE in the first round of the main draw and so went straight to the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals they met up with Mexico A, the strongest team in the event. Devesh and Taye fought valiantly, but in the end lost (1-3).
The Team event could not finish as scheduled due to power outages. The event was postponed to the following day. On the third day the event was moved over to another centre in the Olympic Campus and the team events were concluded. The implications of this power outage however, meant that the schedule of events would need to be compacted. This made for a long third day, with doubles, mixed doubles, and singles qualifications needing to be completed in the same day. This would be a true test for all the junior athletes, as more matches would be played in a short span of time, as well as less opportunity for rest in between matches.
In the male doubles event Taye Parkinson and Devesh Hukmani played as one team while Jofny Paguaga and Goran Gabourel as the other. The format for the event is a single elimination knockout format. Team A was set to play against Honduras in their first round of 16 match. They won quite comfortably (3-0). Team B however wasn’t able to overcome Mexico A and lost (0-3). Team A was then slated to play against Matias Uribe and Johnny Vasquez of Costa Rica and won 3 games to 2 in an intensely close match 12-10 in the final game. In the semi-finals they played against Guatemala A team, but lost (2-3), again in a very close game. Belize leaves with a Bronze Medal in this event.
This is the first year Belize has participated in the female doubles event. Female team A was made up of Abigail Thurton and Gabrielle Gabourel. In their first match they were seeded to play against El Salvador’s Kenny Orellana, and Aurora Andrade. They lost (0-3). Despite the loss, the girls played very well. As it was their first time on the international stage, the lack of experience did play a factor in the tournament for them. They remained positive going into the next event.
The mixed doubles event began promptly as the doubles concluded. Belize had three teams. Team A was Taye Parkinson/Abigail Thurton, Team B was Devesh Hukmani/Gabrielle Gabourel, and the third team was sister and brother duo Jofny Paguaga/Sarai Paguaga. This event, like the doubles before it, utilized a straight knockout format. Taye Parkinson/Abigail Thurton played David Monge and Katya Gonzalez of El Salvador in the first match and won 3-0. Devesh Hukmani/Gabrielle Gabourel played David Ruiz and Maripaz Araya of Costa Rica in a tight match and won 3 games to 2 (12,10 in the final game). Jofny Paguaga/Sarai Paguaga were unable to make it past the first round losing 0-3 to Diego Quintal and Aurora Andrade of Mexico. In the round of 16, Taye Parkinson and Abigail Thurton played Johnny Vasquez and Paula Gomez in a rematch of the 2016 CODICADER U12 Games. While this time around the match was more closely contested they were unable to overcome the Costa Rican pair and lost 1-3.
Similarly, Devesh Hukmani and Gabrielle Gabourel lost 1-3 to El Salvador team, Rene Escobar and Sara Romero. The mixed doubles event continued into the afternoon and finished around 4 o clock with Mexico emerging victorious, placing 1st. Rene Escobar and Sara Romero of El Salvador managed 2nd in this event, while Guatemala and Panama placed 3rd.
Immediately after the mixed doubles the main event began. The round robin portion of the singles event would be played. This determined which juniors would get to play on the final day. All of our juniors played this event and each was placed into separate groups.
In the U13 boys single event Jofny Paguaga was placed in group 3 with Johnny Vasquez of Costa Rica, Kobe Zhang (little Ma Lin) of Honduras, and David Monge of El Salvador. Jofny placed 3rd in the group winning one match against Kobe Zhang of Honduras 3 – 1.
Devesh Hukmani was placed into group 4 with David Herrera of Panama, Rodrigo Sanchez of El Salvador, and Angelo Mendez of Honduras. Devesh Hukmani placed 1st in his group winning 3 – 0, 3 – 2, and 3 – 0 respectively.
Taye Parkinson was placed into group 5 with Rene Escobar of El Salvador, Luis Tejada of Honduras, and Alessandro Endico of Panama. Taye Parkinson placed 2nd in his group losing to Rene Escobar of Salvador 2 games to 3, but winning his other two matches 3 – 0.
Goran Gabourel was placed in group 7 with Issac Hernandez of Honduras, and Benjamin Paniagua of Costa Rica and David Mendez of Mexico. Goran found himself in quite a difficult group. Despite some close matches, he was unable to overcome the more experienced players in his group, and so would not qualify out of the group into the next day’s main draw.
In the U13 female’s Category Abigail Thurton was placed into group 2 with Arantxa Cossio of Mexico, and Liz Aquino of Guatemala. Like Goran, Abigail found herself in a tough group including the defending champion Arantxa Cossio of Mexico, and Guatemala top player Liz Aquino. Abigail played a very strong game, and maintained a great attitude throughout. This is encouraging as she was able to contend with the competition’s best on her first outing on the international stage.
Gabrielle Gabourel was placed into group 6 with Paula Pena of Mexico, and Katya Gonzalez of El Salvador. She was unable to make it out of the group as the Mexican’s and Salvadorian’s strong top spin game gave her quite some trouble. Despite this, she maintained some great exchanges, highlighting a bright future for her when competing in the next upcoming events.
In the U11 female’s category Sarai Paguaga was placed into group 4 with Lucia Zavaleta of Costa Rica, and Erika Martinez of Honduras. She had lost to Lucia Zavaleta 0 – 3, but still managed to get through to the main draw by defeating Erika Martinez 3 – 0. This is Sarai’s first year out competing at only 10 years old.
This is the first time for all the girls, as well as the first time Belize has sent a female delegation. We are very proud of them and having them as representatives of our nation. The other nations welcomed our female presence and took notice of their rapid growth over the short time they have been training.
In the end, three of our athletes qualified for the last day’s event. These were Taye Parkinson and Devesh Hukmani of the U13 category, and Sarai Paguaga of the U11 category.
Sarai Paguaga, being the second seed in her group, found herself facing a rather tough first opponent in the first round. She faced Ximena Figueroa of Mexico and lost 0 games to 3. Despite this lost, we remain quite encouraged by Sarai’s spirit and her age, as she is just 10 years old.
In the first round Taye Parkinson (last year’s U11 Championships bronze medallist) faced Leonardo Perez of Mexico. Due to the long day previously, Taye had experienced a strained tricep. He tried as best as he could to overcome Leo, but Leo’s strong tactical game and experience proved a bit too much for Taye, Taye lost 1 – 3.
In the first round Devesh Hukmani played an amazing game against Costa Rica’s Matias Uribe. This match was extremely close with Devesh being 2 games down, before making his way back winning 3 – 2 (8-11, 9 – 11, 11 – 9, 11 – 8, 11 – 9). This win advanced him to the quarterfinals. Winning here would guarantee a minimum bronze. He played Diego Quintal of Mexico and completely dominated winning 3-0. His focus was clear and he played very deliberately. He demonstrated great maturity in that game and managed to close off the game quite early. He would need to, in order to save up energy for the semi-finals and finals.
In the semi-finals Devesh Hukmani faced Leonardo Perez, the same Mexican who took out fellow Belize player, Taye Parkinson. Devesh had quite a hard time facing this opponent as he had a service sequence quite difficult to decipher. Devesh had a hard time getting into a groove not being able to confidently receive the Mexican’s serve. His pursuit to the gold medal ended as he lost this match 0 - 3
For the BTTA’s third international pre-infantile event, our juniors have done exceptionally well, with all the other countries from the region acknowledging and encouraging our continued participation at the event. For each event we attend we set specific goals for each of our students. We are pleased that all juniors were able to achieve those targets this trip to Honduras.
We are confident that so long as we continue to work with our junior players, we will continue to receive positive results. Last year, Taye Parkinson was able to medal in the singles event. This year he along with Devesh Hukmani, managed to secure bronze for the doubles event, and Devesh was able to medal in the single event as well. To make things better, this has come only two years after the work with our junior players have begun. We are very proud of this result!
The BTTA would like to thank the Belize Olympic Committee for its support, the junior players and their parents for their commitment and hard work, our coaches, Wilber Tito Bientz, Juana Barbara, and Gabriel Guerrero for preparing the juniors leading up to the event and for working with them as coaches during the event, to Manuel Paguaga, who was our doctor on site at the event, and all others who contributed towards making this event a successful one. We’d also like to give a special thank you to Willy Chang, Dr. Hidalgo and the other contributing doctors of (BHCP), Anthony Thurton and Associates and the Gabourel and Paguaga Families for making the girls delegation a reality. Without their support this trip would have not been possible.
Sunday July 30th, 2017
The 2017 Barrow & Williams LLP SUMMER OPEN TOURNAMENT concluded this past Sunday, July 30, 2017 at the BES Auditorium.
The event consisted of 2 Categories comprising of an Open Category and a Women Category.
In the end the winners were as follows:
1st Place -- Zhi Chen
2nd Place – Devesh Hukmani
3rd Place – Taye Parkinson
4th Place – Terry Su
Left to right: Su Sen, Gabrielle Gabourel, Aya Kubota
Below: Abigail Thurton
1st Place – Gabrielle Gabourel
2nd Place – Su Sen
3rd Place – Abigail Thurton
Trophies were awarded to all top finishers, and were presented by BTTA Director, Yasser Musa, along with our new coach from Japan, Aya Kubota.
Annual Sponsors for this event was Barrow & Williams LLP who continues to provide support for the development of table tennis and this event in particular.
Special mention goes out Gabrielle Gabourel for making history by winning the women’s title at just 12 years old.
Sunday 25th June 2017
Today the 2nd 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 Che Waight in the finals to take the title while Gabrielle Gabourel and Huang Yo Yang shared third place.
The under 15 title saw a dramatic duel between Terry Su and Devesh Hukmani, with Hukmani holding firm with strong defense and counter attack shots to gain the title. Third place finishers in this category were Amiri Hoare and Rohit Pagarani.
The under 18 stage was set in the finals between Taye Parkinson and Joshua Gegg. It's been quite some time that Gegg has found himself in an under 18 finals taking quite some time off from training in recent months, but he came out playing really well for this tournament. Parkinson’s game however proved too much and Taye won convincingly in 3 straight sets. Latrell Solis and Rohit Pagarani both came in third for this prestigious category.
Adelaide Sabido, representatives from SMART, was on site to assist with the award ceremony and awarding trophies to all winner. President Arturo Vasquez, congratulated all winners, and thanked all participants, parents, spectators, and organizer for making the event possible.
The Belize Table Tennis Association (BTTA) thanks SMART for their continued support for table tennis in Belize as being the official sponsor for our 1st and 2nd Junior Ranking Tournament Events.
For Complete Tournament Results go herehttps://www.belizetabletennis.com/2017-2nd-smart-results
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.