ALMOST two and a half years after its scheduled departure, the ICWI (West Indies Insurance Company Ltd) Silverbowl Table Tennis Championship will finally begin today at the Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena in Tacarigua.
The 2020 edition was one of the first sports competitions canceled in the country due to Covid-19, and this weekend’s tournament will be the first of five major competitions on the calendar to take place since.
The men’s field includes Barbadians Tyrese Knight and Ramon Maxwell, as well as Guyana’s Nigel Bryan and Jonathan Van Lange, who are all here for the ICWI Champions League, which served at the same venue three days ago and will continue on Wednesday night .
Guyanese Shermar Britton, who was based in Trinidad before the pandemic, and finished the 2019 season ranked second in the country, is the highest ranked player on the pitch.
Derron Douglas, who competed in the just-concluded Commonwealth Games in England, and two-time national champion Curtis Humphreys were ranked fourth and fifth respectively when the rankings were last updated at the end of 2019, and they are likely the only local players capable of winning the title.
The top 32 ranked players will begin the action during the afternoon in the second round robin stage. A total of 64 players will play in 16 groups in the first stage in the morning, and only the winners of each group will qualify for the second stage. The top two players from each group in this phase will advance to the main draw tomorrow.
There are only 17 participants in the women’s event and they will not start until tomorrow morning. The top two players from each of the four round robin groups will advance to the quarter-finals. Top-ranked Brittany Joseph and Aleena Edwards and Linda Partap-Boodhan, year-end top players, topped the list.
The field also includes 13-year-old Chloe Fraser, a member of the senior national team for this year’s Caribbean Championships, and former two-time Caribbean Under-13 champion Priyanka Khellawan.
The first service on both days is at 10:00 a.m.