The local women’s table tennis team of France-based Rheann Chung, new national champion Catherine Spicer, and Brittany Joseph suffered defeat in both their Women’s Team matches when the 23rd Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games began in Barranquilla, Colombia, yesterday.
Playing at the Centro Eventos Puerta de Oro, the T&T women first went under to Puerto Rico 3-1 with five-time Caribbean singles champion Chung getting the lone win for her team, 11-7, 13-11, 11-7 against
Esmerlyn Castro. This after Eva Brito defeated Spicer 11-5, 9-11, 11-7, 11-5 for a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five matches.
Yasiris Ortiz and Castro restored Puerto Rico’s lead at 2-1 when they beat Joseph and Spicer 8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-6, in the doubles encounter before Brito stopped Joseph 11-9, 11-7, 12-10 to complete a 3-1 triumph for the Spanish-speaking island.
Against Mexico, Chung got T&T off to a winning start, 11-6, 11-9, 6-11, 11-3 over Alejandra Mendez but Spicer then fell to Yadira Silva, 5-11, 4-11, 4-11 while Spicer and Joseph were outplayed by Mendez and Marbella Aceves 11-4, 9-11, 4-11, 4-11 in the doubles.
Chung kept T&T alive in the tie by battling past Aceves 11-6, 6-11, 13-11, 8-11, 11-8 in her second singles match to set up a decider between Joseph and Silva.
It was not to be for T&T as Joseph despite a valiant effort fell to Silva, 6-11, 7-11, 16-14, 9-11 after starving off three match points and the tie, in the third set.
Today, the T&T women will complete round-robin pool play versus Colombia needing a win to have any chance of reaching the quarterfinals. The Colombians defeated Mexico 3-2 in its opener before a 3-1 win over the Dominican Republic for a 2-0 record yesterday.
At the Marina de Puerto Velero, T&T’s Kelly-Ann Arrindell was eighth after the first three Women’s Laser Radial races.
In race one, Arrindell was a seventh-placed finisher while she ended seventh and 10th in the second and third races, respectively for a total of 24 points to end the first day.
She will return to action tomorrow with three more races, then Monday for the final three races.
Today will also see the local squash players Kale Wilson, Patrick Nku and Chayse Mc Quan as well as Alexandra Yearwood, Charlotte Knaggs and Marie-Claire Barcant start singles play in the round-of-32 men and women event.
Two-time Olympic swimmer Dylan Swimmer will spearhead T&T’s medal charge in the pool along with David Mc Leod, Jabari Baptiste, Joshua Romany and Kael Yorke.
Another Olympian, who will see action today, is sailor Andrew Lewis in the Men’s Laser Opening Series races one, two and three.
Four years ago at the 22nd CAC Games, in Veracruz, Mexico, T&T ended in the tenth spot with 11 medals, two gold, one silver and eight bronze from 197 athletes.
The medal tally was the smallest return for this country since 1990 in Mexico when T&T managed 13 medals, five silver and eight bronze.
Back in 2010 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico T&T captured 34 medals, nine gold, 12 silver and 13 bronze for the eighth spot on the medal table while in Colombia (2006) T&T won 21 medals (one gold, nine silver and 11 bronze).
In 2002 in San Salvador, El Salvador, T&T bagged 17 medals (five gold, one silver and 11 bronze); 1998 in Venezuela, T&T won 14 medals (one gold, eight silver and five bronze) and five years prior in Ponce, Puerto Rico, the T&T contingent picked up 26 medals, three gold, seven silver and 16 bronze.
With the 11 medals won in Veracruz, it moved the red, white and black, to 11th on the overall table with a total 209 medals, 41 gold, 75 silver and 93 bronze to be the second-ranked English-speaking Caribbean country behind Jamaica’s 340 medal haul, 101 gold, 117 silver and 122 bronze.
Returning home from Veracruz with precious gold for T&T were shot putter Cleopatra Borel in the women’s shot put for a second straight CAC Games, and swimmer George Bovell who won a third straight men’s 50m freestyle title.
The senior men’s national men’s hockey team got the lone silver medal after going down to Cuba 1-5 in their title match while bronze came via Dorian Alexander (taekwondo), Curtis Humphreys/Dexter St Louis (men’s table tennis doubles), Roger Daniel (shooting), Christopher George (judo), Kwesi Browne (cycling), Bovell (swimming), Michael Alexander (boxing) and the men’s sevens rugby team.