VICTORIOUS: Andrew Alexander, left, captured the 1700-2200 title, at the inaugural North Zone Rating Tournament, held at T&TEC in Port of Spain, on Sunday. Alexander's Solo Crusaders Table Tennis Club teammate, Terry Corbin, right, was a losing semifinalist.

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Alexander tops North Zone singles

Andrew Alexander of Solo Crusaders in the 1700-2200 category and Luc O’Young of Carenage Blasters in the under 1700 category were the winners of the inaugural North Zone Rating Tournament, contested at T&TEC in Port of Spain, on Sunday.

Alexander, the Crusaders smasher, was in devastating form to win 11-3,11-5,11-13, 11-2 in the 1700 to 2200 rating event against top-seeded Everton Sorzano of D’Abadie Youths. Sorzano, at the end of 2013, was fifth on the Trinidad and Tobago Table Tennis Association (T&TTTA) ranking list.

Alexander, after winning his group with 3-0, 3-2 and 3-1 victories over Kourdell Powell, Anil Ramlakhan and Issa Baisden, respectively, beat St Vincent and the Grenadines player Kamal Hunte 3-1 in the quarterfinals and Riad Abasali 3-1 in the semifinals before moving into high gear for the final.

Sorzano defeated Nigel Morgan 3-1 and Abasali 3-1 before going on to beat Michael Noel 3-0 in the quarterfinals and Terry Corbin 3-0 in the semifinals.

Fans on hand were impressed with an exciting match between Catherine Spicer and 2014 North Zone A2 champion Abasali in the quarterfinals. Nineteen-year old Spicer, a second year University of the West Indies (UWI) student, was recently selected for the Commonwealth Games. She went toe to toe with Abasali, exchanging rallies before bowing 6-11, 4-11, 11-6, 11-8, 5-11.

In the under 1700 rating points event where B and C class players find their niche, it was refreshing to see some unattached players participating. This augurs well for the future of rating tournaments.

O’Young, the 13-year-old Blasters standout, was the pick of the field as he won his second tournament for 2014. Previously, O’Young was second in the National Classified C Class event in February, and followed up by winning a US under 1650 rating tournament. He also finished third in the North Zone Classified B division singles.

In Sunday’s final, O’Young beat his Blasters teammate, Jessie Dookie 11-6, 11-7, 15-13. Dylan Lee and Finn Bos both succumbed in the semifinal round. Bos lost 1-3 to Dookie and Lee went under 1-3 to O’Young in the all-Blasters semifinal match-ups.

Also reaching the last 16 were Brittany Lee, Chelsea Fong, Alex Walcott, Ronald Murray, Danielle Dick, Jacquise Stewart, Anjana Valsalan, Alva Mendez, Eddie Moses and Joseph Mansano.

The next North Zone rating tournament takes place on July 26. Entries close on July 24.
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