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Dexter St Louis on Stage in Santo Domingo for One Night Only
By: Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

The Dexter St Louis Show  Photo By: Ernesto Beltre

3/31/2008        2008 Latin American Championships / Latin American Olympic Qualification (Click here to access this section)

Table Dancing took on a whole new meaning on Monday 31st March 2008; the person to change the accepted definition of the art form was Trinidad and Tobago’s Dexter St Louis.

Playing against Mexico’s Marcos Madrid in the Men’s Singles event at the Latin American Olympic Qualification tournament in Santo Domingo, he recovered from a 7-9 deficit in the seventh game, to win four points in a row and in so doing secured his place in the Beijing Olympic Games. The final point secured, Dexter St Louis jumped on the table, removed his shirt, threw it to a band of supporters and then waved his arms around in a ritual that defied logical thought.

The jive, the twist, the locomotion were all combined in the St Louis Stomp, as he combined arm movements that suggested his was a bell ringer in the local church with a wiggle of the hips that would have put Elvis Presley to shame in his heyday.

It was a celebration of celebrations and in total contrast to the way he had conducted himself during the whole match. Basically he was totally focused, never uttered a single word whilst his adversary motivated himself vocally with every success.

Furthermore, Dexter St Louis is a man of refined character; everybody else goes to the night club, he goes to bed at 9.30pm and listens the News on television or reads the latest enthralling edition of the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times.

It’s beers all round but orange juice and a cup of tea for Dexter.

Maybe in Santo Domingo on Monday 31st March 2008, his team manager, Bob Roopnarine might just persuade him to have a taste of the Amber Nectar.

The Dexter St Louis Show over, emotion hit him as he held daughter, Rheann Chung in his arms, tears rolling down his cheeks before bringing mind and body together.

So, Rheann, can you explain Dexter’s antics at the end of the match.

“No!” she smiled. “That’s just Dexter and should I take my shirt of?” Steady on girl, this is good Catholic country and one member of the family entering Vaudeville is enough!

Mind and body back together but with no shirt, Dexter St Louis composed himself.
“I knew I could come back from 7-9 down to 9-all because I was serving but after that I’d no idea”, explained Trinidad and Tobago’s answer to John Travolta. “I had to get my mind together and decide how to return the service.”

The answer was to use his backhand; three of the last four points were won with strong backhand played wide to his opponent’s forehand, victory was clinched and the carnival began.

Revenge and Desolation
Meanwhile, in the counterpart contest it was revenge and once again desolation.

Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro beat Argentina’s Pablo Tabachnik having lost to the Argentine player one day earlier; as for Pablo Tabachnik it was the second day in succession that he had lost a contest that would have provided his passport to Beijing and again it was against a Brazilian.

One day earlier he had been beaten by Gustavo Tsuboi.

“Yesterday I put myself under a great deal of pressure”, explained Thiago Monteiro. “I wanted to do well.”

The response was quite natural, one to be expected and the following day he did well, very well indeed.

“Today I was more accurate with my return of services and I was more positive”, continued a delighted but calm Brazilian. “Yesterday I was too passive.”

On Monday 31st March 2008 he was positive and with Dexter St Louis he was on his way to Beijing, for Pablo Tabachnik defeat and for poor Marcos Madrid who had given his all, it was the St Louis Blues.



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