Jasher De Gannes bagged bronze for Trinidad and Tobago at the Latin American Under-13 and Under-11 Table Tennis Championships, in Guatemala, on Monday.
In the preliminary round of the girls’ under-13 singles, De Gannes finished second in group three to qualify for the knock-out phase of the tournament. The 12-year-old Bishop’s High School, Tobago student beat Chile’s Constanza Loyola 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, but lost to third-seeded Lineris Rivera, of Puerto Rico in straight games, 7-11, 7-11, 5-11.
In the main draw, De Gannes received a first round bye, and then cruised past Mexico’s Paola Molina at 4, 5 and 9.
The T&T player’s opponent in the quarters was Emily Romero. The Peruvian was on a high, following her upset victory over fourth-seeded Brazilian Daniela Yano in the round of 16. Romero’s joy, however, was short-lived, De Gannes winning 17-15, 12-10, 11-6 to advance to the last four.
De Gannes met her Waterloo in the semi-final round, losing to second-seeded Nathaly Paredes, of Ecuador. Paredes advanced to the final with a 13-11, 11-7, 12-10 triumph.
In the championship match, Brazilian Bruna Takahashi, the top seed, got the better of Paredes 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3.
De Gannes was the only T&T player to secure a main draw berth. And only one other player notched a victory in the singles events. Messiah Walcott beat a Guatemalan in group seven of the boys’ under-11 singles. However, he lost to a Brazilian and a Puerto Rican, and finished third in the group.
De Gannes was also the most impressive T&T player in the team events. De Gannes and Shanekah Johnson combined in the girls’ under-13 team competition. They finished third in group 1, losing 0-3 to Brazil and 2-3 to Guatemala. In the showdown with Guatemala, De Gannes won her two singles matches.
Derron Douglas and Walcott represented the Red, White and Black in the boys’ under-11 team event. They finished fourth in group two. The only T&T win came in the showdown with El Salvador. Walcott won a singles battle, but T&T lost the war 1-3.
Ackayla Lucas and Shurja Welch wore T&T colours in the girls’ under-11 team event. They were fourth in group three. Lucas secured the lone T&T success, winning a singles match in the team’s 1-3 defeat at the hands of Ecuador.
The T&T boys’ under-13 team of Joshua Maxwell and Jakeem Welch lost their three group five fixtures 0-3.
And there were no victories for T&T in the doubles events.
Thanks to the 70 points earned by De Gannes for her bronze in the girls’ under-13 singles, T&T finished 11th at the 15-country tournament. Brazil emerged as the champions with 1,810 points, edging Mexico — 1,790 — into second spot. Puerto Rico finished a distant third with 570 points.