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.

The Caribbean region’s best young golfers are set to descend upon Jamaica’s Caymanas Golf Course soon to participate in the 36th staging of the Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship.

Teams will start arriving in Jamaica on July 1 with the competition set to take place from July 3-5 with the first tee time set at 7:00 AM local time.

There will be eight competing countries and these include hosts Jamaica, defending champions Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

Among these countries, there will be approximately 85 participants taking part in the championships split into the Boys and Girls 18 & Under, Boys & Girls 15 & Under and Boys & Girls 13 & Under categories.

The official media launch for the junior golf showcase was held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on Thursday.

“The hosting of this prestigious event represents not only a celebration of golf, but it also fulfils our mandate by providing a platform for our junior golfers to hone their skills in addition to being a testament to the spirit of sportsmanship, camaraderie and youthful exuberance that thrives in our Caribbean region,” said President of the Jamaica Golf Association, Jodi Munn-Barrow, at Thursday’s launch.

Lead sponsors of the July 3-5 championships are BCIC Insurance Company Limited and their CEO, Peter Levy, expressed happiness to be a part of this competition.

“It’s an opportunity for us to reaffirm BCIC’s commitment to youth development through our title sponsorship of this prestigious event,” he said.

“BCIC has always believed in the power of sport to shape our society and we see this partnership as an investment in the dreams and aspirations of young golfers across the Caribbean,” he added.

Also on hand to give a glimpse of what to expect from the course itself was Caymanas Golf Club General Manager, Peter Lindo.

“Our picturesque little course in St. Catherine eagerly awaits the talented young golfers who will be representing their countries. Our course superintendent, Mr. Jerry Hardy, and out groundskeepers have been working meticulously preparing the course taking every measure possible to present optimal playing conditions,” he said.

“We’ve had some unusually hot dry weather up until last week and that little spell of rain has given us an even greener landscape. One of the challenges we’ve had over the years is the deterioration of our bunkers and Jamaica Aggregates Limited were very kind in donating sand which will go a very long way in the resuscitation of the bunkers,” he added.

Other main sponsors for the championship include Sandals Foundation, R&A, Fleetwood, ORCA Golf, Caribbean Golf Association, CMK Bakery and Digicel Business.

 

St Kitts and Nevis, Guyana, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic registered a maiden win in their respective Concacaf World Cup Qualifying campaign, as they brought the curtains down on second round action, on Tuesday.

Five players scored twice for their respective teams, including Guyana’s Deon Moore, Dominican Republic’s Rafael Mata and Dorny Romero, and Puerto Rico’s Jeremy de Leon and Wilfredo Rivera.

St Lucia vs Aruba

St Lucia and Aruba were the only teams that failed to separate themselves, as they played out a 2-2 scoreline in Group C at Wildey Turf in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Aruba got the perfect start they desired, when Walter Bennett headed home from close range to gift them a 22nd-minute lead, before Isai Marselia added a second from the penalty spot in the 43rd minute.

However, Ridel Stanislas (45+2) cut the deficit for St Lucia with a tidy finish from deep inside the 18-yard box, to make it 2-1 at the break.

Peter Pearson then pulled St Lucia level in the 66th minute to secure a share of the spoils.

With this, their first point of the campaign, St Lucia and Aruba occupy third and fourth positions in the group behind Curaçao and Haiti, on six points each, heading into the break.

St Kitts and Nevis vs Bahamas

St Kitts and Nevis edged Bahamas, 1-0, in Group B at Warner Park in Basseterre.

Ethan Bristow found the all-important goal in the 12th minute when he pounced on a rebound.

With the win, The Sugar Boyz inched up to third in the group, behind Costa Rica (six points) and Trinidad and Tobago (four points).

Guyana vs Belize

Guyana proved too strong for Belize with a 3-1 victory in Group D action at Wildey Turf in Bridgetown, Barbados.

After playing out a goalless first half, Deon Moore finished off an Omari Glasgow pass in the 66th minute to put Guyana ahead.

The Golden Jaguars doubled the lead a minute later courtesy of Liam Gordon’s dazzling solo effort which he finished off with a close range effort.

Moore completed his brace in the 71st with a flick of the ball inside the box to redirect Nathan Moriah-Welsh’s pass.

However, Carlos Bernardez pulled one back for Belize in the 88th, as he rose above defenders to head home Jahryl Smith’s weighted cross.

The win moved the Golden Jaguars up to third place in the group, behind Nicaragua and Panama, on six points each.