Simon Tomlinson, Solesha Young defend singles titles at Jamaica's table tennis championships

By August 22, 2021

Simon Tomlinson and Solesha Young successfully defended their national titles as the curtains came down on Jamaica’s national table tennis championships at the National Indoor Sports Centre last Thursday.

Tomlinson, who was winning his fifth national title, defeated Peter Moo-Young, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7, for a 4-1 victory. Meanwhile, 17-year-old Young defeated Tsenaye Lewis 11-7, 11-3, 1-12, 11-3, 11-5 for the Women’s title.

Young also won the U21 female title and the Women’s Rural Singles Open title.

“The Women's Open title is the one that means the most to me simply because it tells everyone that I am the number-one female in the country. Two-time national champion; that for me, is an awesome achievement at age 17,” said Young, who said preparing for the competition presented its own challenges.

“Overall, my performance was outstanding despite limited training, the Covid-19 pandemic and preparation for CSEC exams I had to use strategy and tactics to defend my title.”

She revealed that in some instances she was only able to train twice a month because access to training facilities was limited because of the pandemic.

Tomlinson, meanwhile, said he it was not an easy path to the title.

“I went into the finals trying to be as calm as possible. I had a major battle in the semi-finals with David Williams, a veteran player who is now based in England, and that result was 4-3 so I had a trying match in the semi-finals, so going into the final I had to calm myself and go in with a good match plan, a good strategy and outwit Peter,” Tomlinson said.

“He is a very intelligent, crafty player.”

Tomlinson said that primarily because of the pandemic, he didn’t get a chance to play that much, especially after he came up short on his bid to qualify for the Olympics in April. However, that experience helped him navigate the challenging rounds of the national championships.

“The Olympic qualification was the most preparation I had going into this tournament, granted that was three/four months ago but it was the only work I was able to put in given the restrictions that we have had in Jamaica because of Covid so I was heavily reliant on that preparation and the knowledge that I had gained heading into the Olympics and it definitely helped. It kept me calm, centred during the matches. At no point, did I overreact or lose my cool. I was able to stay focused and get the job done.”

Other categories winners were as follows:

U13 Girls: Karecea Peterkin, U15 Boys: Jadeen Ebanks, U15 Girls: Tsenaye Lewis, U19 Boys: Rasheed Clarke, U19 Girls: Naveah Scott, U21: Joel Butler, Rural Men: Rudolph Sinclair, Men’s 40: Rudolph.

Andrew Lue, President of the Jamaica Table Tennis Association and runner-up in the Men’s 40 competition, characterized the tournament as a success.

“For the first time, we had the men and women champion winning the same prize money. As a part of our thrust for gender equality we thought it very critical for that to take place for us to set the pace for other sports to follow,” he said.

“Another historic first was that we had our U13 Boys title being shared by Gari Whyte and Brian Blake as that final was unable to be played.”

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Related items

  • Puerto Rico dominates medals at 2024 CRTTF mini and pre-Cadet Championship Puerto Rico dominates medals at 2024 CRTTF mini and pre-Cadet Championship

    The 2024 Caribbean Region Table Tennis Federation (CRTTF) mini and pre-Cadet Championship proved to be a fruitful one for Puerto Rico’s extremely talented group.

    In the championships held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from July 1-7, the Puerto Ricans dominated both the Under-11 and Under-13 categories for both boys and girls.

    They took all three medals in the Under-11 Mixed Doubles. Ryan Rivera and Valentina Rodriguez took gold ahead of Carlos Medina and Brianna Gomez while Kennuel Arroyo and Nahia Medina took bronze.

    Rodriguez and Taviana Burgos combined to take gold in Under-11 Girls Doubles over the Dominican Republic’s Brendaly Jimenez and Shanya Polanco while Mia Ipia and Melany Quezada, also of the Dominican Republic, took bronze.

    Rodriguez also took the Under-11 Girls Singles title ahead of aforementioned teammates Taviana Burgos and Nahia Medina.

    The Under-11 Boys category was dominated by Jamaica as Malone Bird took gold in singles ahead of Puerto Rico’s Ryan Rivera and Trinidad & Tobago’s Zayden Sagramsingh.

    Bird then combined with his brother Shacoil to take top spot in doubles ahead of Puerto Rico’s teams of Kennuel Arroyo and Ian Garcia and Ryan Rivera and Carlos Medina.

    Puerto Rico also swept the medals in the Under-13 Mixed Doubles. Matthew Cao and April Cintron took gold ahead of Owen Shemesh and Isabella Castro while Angel Melendez and Brianna Rodriguez took bronze.

    The Under-13 Girls Doubles title went to April Cintron and Brianna Rodriquez while teammates Isabella Castro and Ariana Aponte took silver. The Dominican Republic’s Mers Cabreba and Ana Sosa took bronze.

    Cintron completed the treble with gold in singles ahead of Rodriquez and Cabrera.

    Gold in the boys Under-13 Doubles went to Cuba’s Yadiel Hernandez and Andy Maqueira. The Dominican Republic’s Edwim Martinez and Eidhrian Paulino took silver while Puerto Rico’s Owen Shemesh and Jose Rivera finished third.

    Cuba’s Maqueira also took gold in singles ahead of Matthew Cao and Edwim Martinez.

  • Eleven-year-old Christian Foster achieving goals on and off the field Eleven-year-old Christian Foster achieving goals on and off the field

    Christian Foster, an 11-year-old student at Mona Preparatory School, is making headlines with his impressive achievements both in academics and sports. Sporting a broad smile, Foster eagerly shares his accomplishments, which include being the head boy of Mona Prep and the leading goalscorer for their JISA National Under-12 championship-winning football team.

    Mona Prep celebrated a triumphant season, winning both the Henriques and Alberga league and cup, with Foster scoring an impressive 21 goals, the highest ever by a Mona Prep player. His dedication extends beyond the field, as he made the principal’s Honour Roll with an average above 90 per cent for three consecutive terms, the only grade six footballer to achieve this distinction this year. At the recent school graduation, Foster was awarded both the Best Footballer Award for 2024 and recognition for academic excellence.

    Foster’s talents have also shone on international soil. Competing with the Dare to Dream Academy, he won an under-13 competition in Miami, scoring in the final, and led his team to victory at the U12 Pro Nation Cup at UWI, Mona, in March.

    Reflecting on his path to success, Foster shared, “It means you have to train every day of the week, you’ve to eat right and you’ve to do the right things. That’s what I learn from the footballers that I watch, my favourite being Cristiano Ronaldo. I see that he eats right and doesn’t eat any of the bad foods. He trains every day of the week and also at home.”

    Balancing school from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by two hours of training and additional study time, Foster aims to become an engineer. “It’s a very good balance to have because just in case the football doesn’t work out, like say I get an injury, I’d always have my academics to help me,” he explained. “It’s not that difficult but you have to put in the work on both sides.”

    Foster credits his success to his faith and the support of his parents, Ryan and Simone. “I’ve learnt that having supportive parents is a good thing. They help me with my schoolwork sometimes by sending me to various extras to help me get my grades up and different football camps all around the world. They’ve impacted significantly by getting up with me, sometimes early morning to bring me to Saturday training.”

    His family also includes a cherished little sister, Elizabeth. “I’m a very good big brother to her, I’m always kind to her. That means I’ve to be nice to her all the time, even sometimes when she’s upset at me, for doing absolutely nothing. But I’m still very kind to her, or else she will complain to my parents about me,” he said, laughing.

    Foster appreciates his parents’ efforts to send him to overseas camps, such as one run by his favourite team, Arsenal, in Boston, and another held by Inter Miami FC, featuring Lionel Messi. He admires Cavalier Soccer Club locally for its “style of play, focus on young players.”

    Describing these experiences as “fun,” Foster noted, “…the coaches taught me to always scan for your opponents behind you so you don’t get caught on the ball. Another takeaway is to always motivate your team even if they’re losing so that they can step up and come back.”

    Proud of his role as Head Boy, Foster applies lessons from his football experiences to his leadership duties. “Sometimes when my teammates or my schoolmates are not doing the right thing, I pull them one side and I talk to them and like when we’re on the field, I tell them you should tackle here or there, you should do that and as head boy, I tell them not to do that, and to follow the right path. Also, I have to follow the right path.”

    Foster’s academic prowess is evident as he completed his Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examinations with a 97 pe rcent average, securing a spot at his top choice, Wolmer’s Boys’. “I’m working toward this goal now. I’ve won the double with my school, I’m also the Head Boy of my school and I got a 94 average in the PEP exams,” he beamed. “I feel very happy. I feel like I’m reaching my goals and it’s satisfying.”

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Hope after tragedy: Table Tennis siblings receive sponsorship from former national champion Peter Moo-Young Hope after tragedy: Table Tennis siblings receive sponsorship from former national champion Peter Moo-Young

    Atlantic Industrial Electric Supply Company Limited, the company owned by former national Table Tennis champion Peter Moo-Young, has signed on to help three members of Jamaica’s team to the Caribbean Mini and Pre-Cadet Table Tennis Championships set for July 1-7 in the Dominican Republic.

    The three members, brothers Anthony, Malone and Shacoil Bird, were left with very little resources after an unfortunate and tragic house fire in February.

    “We had reached out to Mr. Moo-Young about sponsorship of three of the youngsters. The fire earlier this year left them lacking with certain resources so we reached out to Mr. Moo-Young to see if he could assist in any way to help us send these three players off to the Dominican Republic for the upcoming Pre and Mini Cadet Championships,” JTTA President Ingrid Graham told Sportsmax.tv in an interview earlier this week.

    Moo-Young happily obliged, providing background on how he first heard about the three brothers and how this sponsorship came together.

    “About a year or so ago, Dale (Parham) alerted me that he had identified three youngsters that happen to be brothers who are uniquely talented and invited them to come to my club to play. I saw the kids and I will confirm, they are exceptionally talented for their ages,” he said.

    “In keeping track of their progress, I was told that they had a tragic fire a few months ago and it hurt my heart because we wanted them to keep playing. So, I was pleased to hear that they continued to play,” Moo-Young added.

    Atlantic Industrial Electric is going into this with their partners, KIC Ventures, an American company involved in the medical field.

    “We will jointly underwrite the cost of the three brothers to go to the tournament,” Moo-Young said.

    Founder of KIC, Dr. Kingsley Chin, also commented on the decision to help out.

    “The only reason I’m able to do what I do today is because, when I was young, I got the opportunity to play sport. This is what I love about these boys; they faced obstacles and they kept going, they never stopped. You never know the future of somebody but if they show they have an interest in being good at something it’s like a plant, you water it and the fruits will bear,” he said.

    “Exceptional,” was how National Coach Dale Parham described the talent of the youngsters.

    “They’ve been playing for about two or three years now and they have shown dedication to the sport. I can tell you that these guys play probably about 4-5 hours everyday and that is something that is unheard of based on our situation now here in Jamaica,”

    “When you have youngsters like this with that kind of drive and passion for the sport, I think it’s only fitting that we try to support them as best as possible,”

    Students at Whitfield Town Primary and Junior High School, the brothers recently emerged victorious at the JTTTA/ OSIL/SDF Prep and Primary School Rally at the Excelsior High School on June 24.

    Jamaica’s team is scheduled to leave the island on Saturday for the championships.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.