by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
The Men’s Singles places were secured by the Honduras duo of José Urbina and Alfredo Lopez alongside Haiti’s Donika St-Fleur and Aruba’s Jeandry Mathilda; for the women, it was the St Kitts and Nevis duo of Angelisa Freeman and Shaniqua Esdaille.
Players who were not members of the teams that had qualified earlier in the proceedings were eligible to compete; one of the most pleasing factors being that players from national associations, that have been the focal points of projects promoted by the ITTF Development Programme, succeeded in reserving Barranquilla places.
Certainly to see Haiti represented, the country that suffered a devastating earthquake in January 2010, is good for the soul, as is the fact that St Kitts and Nevis is on the map; Switzerland’s Georg Silberschmidt has performed a veritable explosion of interest in the Caribbean island.
Semi-final places reserved and thus tickets booked for the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games, José Urbina emerged the winner of the Men’s Singles qualifier. At the semi-final stage he beat Jeandry Mathilda (11-9, 11-7, 11-4, 11-7) prior to overcoming Donika St-Fleur (7-11, 11-5, 11-1, 13-11, 1-11, 11-6) to reserve the top step of the podium. In the opposite half of the draw, in the penultimate round, Donika St-Fleur had accounted for Alfredo Lopez (11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10).
The top four names decided, the next two on the list are Aruba’s Benny Chung and Oscar Valeriano of Honduras; in the consolation final Benny Chung beat Oscar Valeriano in five games (11-4, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6).
Meanwhile, in the Women’s Singles event, it was an St Kitts and Nevis affair; at the final hurdle Angelisa Freeman overcame Shaniqua Esdaille in four games (11-5, 11-3, 15-13, 11-7).
Men’s Team by qualification (alphabetical order): Barbados, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela
Men’s Team direct entries by ranking (alphabetical order): Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico
Men ‘s Team host nation: Colombia
Men’s Singles by qualification (alphabetical order): Alfredo Lopez (Honduras), Jeandry Mathilda (Aruba), Donika St-Fleur (Haiti), José Urbina (Honduras)
Women’s Team by qualification (alphabetical order): Barbados, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela
Women Team direct entries by ranking (alphabetical order): Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico
Women host nation: Colombia
Women’s Singles by qualification (alphabetical order): Shaniqua Esdaille (St. Kitts and Nevis), Angelisa Freeman (St. Kitts and Nevis)
2018 Central American and Caribbean Games Qualification Tournament: Full Results and Roll of Honour (Saturday 3rd March)