Wilson and Fraser win National Trials | local sports

AARON WILSON and Chloe Fraser are expected to have won the National Table Tennis Trials on Saturday at Preysal Secondary School.

Only two of the country’s top male players accepted the invitation to participate, but none of the top female players entered the round robin to complete the squad selection for the Caribbean Championships.

Foreign-based players Khaleel Asgarali and Rheann Chung have been picked automatically to make the trip to Cuba early next month.

Competing for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic first hit nearly 21 months ago, Wilson has lost just one game in his four matches.

After both players had won their previous three matches, the two-time national champion beat Tobagonian Derron Douglas 11-7, 11-8, 11-8 in a “virtual” final.

Wilson, who was listed at No. 1 when the last major was held in late 2019, also beat eighth-placed Joshua Maxwell 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7.

N’kosi Rouse and Everton Sorzano, ranked 13th and 14th respectively, were drafted in the trials after several top players, including Arun Roopnarine (no 2) and Curtis Humphreys (no 5), were unavailable . And they both failed to win a match against Wilson, Douglas and Maxwell.

Wilson, who won three of the four majors he entered in 2019, edged Rouse 11-7, 11-7, 11-4 and won 11-7, 11-9, 11-7 over Sorzano.

Douglas, fourth in the standings, still just 18, beat Rouse 11-8, 11-9, 11-7 and Sorzano 11-9, 11-5, 11-7 but was forced to go up at the end to deny Maxwell 11-9, 7-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-5.

Maxwell clinched the team’s last spot stopping Rouse 11-8, 11-4, 11-9 and Sorzano 11-8, 18-16, 11-8 to finish third. And former top ten player Sorzano avoided the cellar spot with an 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5 triumph over Rouse, who climbed 23 places from 36th place. in 2019.

Linda Partap-Boodhan, Aleena Edwards and Catherine Spicer, ranked second, third and sixth respectively, were not on the women’s list from the start.

And Brittany Joseph, who finished the 2019 season nearly 800 points clear in the lead, retired on the day of competition as the field was reduced to three.

The 13-year-old Fraser, seeded seventh, took full advantage as she thrashed ninth-seeded Arlene Joseph 11-2, 11-1, 11-3 and won 12-10, 11-9, 11-6 over Imani Edward- Taylor.

The fifth-ranked niece of 11-time national champion Edwards, edged Class B player Joseph 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 for second place.

The Trinidad and Tobago Table Tennis Association Selection Committee has sent the trial results to the Management Committee and the final teams will be announced shortly.

Asgarali, based in the United States, is a former national champion who last flew the red, white and black flag at the Latin American Championships in 2016.

The 34-year-old won the open singles title at the Maryland Table Tennis Center November Open tournament two months ago.

Chung, ranked 481st in the world, has five gold medals in singles at the Caribbean Championships.

The 36-year-old, based in France, was edged out in the seventh and final game by Argentina’s world number 135 for a place in the last 16 at the Pan American Championships in mid-November.

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