by yasser musa
On Saturday 3rd February, 2018 twenty-four students from 1st to 4th form went into battle at the 6th annual SJC Table Tennis Tournament to see who will emerge as the intermediate and the advanced player of SJC. And after fire hot action in group play and a rapid knockout round the stage was set with Michael Sobers and Andres Mendez in the intermediate final and Latrell Solis and Terry Su in the advanced final.
Mendez wasted no time with his fellow classmate defeating Sobers in three straight sets. Kristopher Montenegro and Edward Matus both share 3rd place this year at the intermediate level and Amiri Hoare and Jofny Paguaga share 3rd place at the advanced level.
The story of the day was Terry Su, the poised and unassuming player from 2nd form. In the semi-finals Su ended what could have been an unbeatable third straight SJC championship record for two time winner Amiri Hoare. Terry’s serve and loops were delivered with laser like precision, keeping the defensive specialist on the ropes the entire game.
In the final Terry had to face the formidable Latrell Solis, 2014 Player of the Year. Su jumped out with his attack game and it became clear that his form was unstoppable. He captured victory and the SJC championship in four sets.
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.
BTTA President now president of CONCATEME
February 10th, 2017
Formerly the Deputy President, Arturo Ricardo Vasquez was elected President of the Central American Table Tennis Confederation at the General Assembly staged in Guatemala on Friday 10th February, 2017. He succeeds El Salvador's Leonel Aguilar Castillo; Emilio Wong, President of the Panama Table Tennis Federation was elected Deputy President.
Arturo Vasquez Elected Deputy President of Central American Table Tennis Federation
January 22, 2016
General Elections for the Central American Table Tennis Federation (CONCATEME) comes up again in January 2017 to begin another full 4 year term for all elected positions.
The election recognizes the efforts our President and our association has made in recent years in promoting table tennis in Belize; the small Central American country that has progressed from zero to competing on the international stage.
The recent development of our junior players since 2013 was also recognized during the election process in Salvador.
Leonel Aguilar, from El Salvador, remains the President of the Central American Table Tennis Federation (CONCATEME)
Tux replaces Sergio Blanco from Mexico who stepped down from the post giving way for a bi-election to fill the remaining term of office, where all 8 Central American countries were present for the elections.
The President of The Belize Table Tennis Federation (BTTA), Arturo "Tux" Vasquez was elected to the post of Deputy President of the Central American Table Tennis Federation (CONCATEME) at the General Assembly held in El Salvador on Friday January 22, 2016.
2015 National Hopes Week Challenge
November 23 - 30, 2015
The National Hopes Week & Challenge concluded this past Monday with over 23 Junior player receiving certificates of participation in the closing ceremonies of the program at the BTTA training facility located at Body 2000 gym on Coney Drive, Belize City.
23 Junior players had the opportunity to work with ITTF High Performance coach Aleksey Yefremov of Belarus for one week leading up to the National Hopes Challenge Tournament staged at the Belize Elementary Auditorium on Saturday November 26.
The National Hopes Challenge is a part of a wider ITTF initiative which seeks to identify the world's top Under 12 cadet players as well as to work with local coaches to improve their skill level. Each participating country is responsible to set up a National Hopes week to identify their best Under 12 cadet players. These players then go on to a Continental Hopes Challenge Week, and the winners at that event move unto to the World Hopes Challenge Week.