IN completely contrasting fashion to 2012, Curtis Humphreys finished No. 1 in the local table tennis rankings last year.
After winning four of the five major tournaments the year before, the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) player failed to defend a single title, but reached at least the semi-finals of all five events to finish with the most points again.
Aleena Edwards did not compete in the first tournament, but won the other four to run away with the top female spot.
Humphreys came very close to defending two of his titles as he went under in five-set thrillers to Arun Roopnarine and Reeza Burke in the finals of the Classified Championships and Silver Bowl Championships, respectively.
There was also a runner-up finish in Super Singles to end the season for last year’s national champion, who reached the semis in this year’s edition of the most prestigious tournament, as well as the Tobago Open.
Humphreys ended the year with 2,750 points, just 120 more than 16-year-old Roopnarine, who was ranked fifth at the end of 2012.
The national Under-15 and 18 champ came from two games down in February to prevent Humphreys from being crowned “Classified” champ for the fourth consecutive time.
Roopnarine was also the runner-up in the Tobago Open, reached the semis of “Silver Bowl”, placed fourth in “Super Singles”, but was injured and only made it to the “round of 16” in “Nationals.”
Aaron Wilson, who is a year younger than Roopnarine, defended his Tobago Open title and reached the final of “Nationals”. However the national Under-15 champ dropped a spot to third in the rankings as he only made it to the quarter-finals in “Classified”, finished sixth in “Super Singles” and could not get past the “round of 16”in “Silver Bowl.”
Wilson finished with 2,450 points, 200 more than five-time national champ Burke, the president of the Trinidad and Tobago Table Tennis Association who soared nine places in year-end rankings despite missing the Tobago Open.
The 39-year-old won “Silver Bowl”, reached the semis of “Nationals”, placed third in “Super Singles” and was a quarter-finalist in “Classified.”
Anson Wellington, who plays alongside Burke and Roopnarine on the Arima Hawks squad, and D’Abadie Youths’ Everton Sorzano rounded out the top five with 1,800 points each.
Lionel Darceuil, a two-time Caribbean singles champ in the 1970s, dropped from fourth to seventh with 1,550 points, while Canada-based 62-year-old David Mahabir, who played in only one tournament and won “Nationals”, rounded out the top 20 with 900 points, just one spot and ten points behind Express sports reporter Kwame Laurence.
Edwards won “Silver Bowl”, Super Singles”, “Tobago” and “Nationals” for the tenth time to end with a grand total of 3,200 points and climb from third at the end of ’12 to the top of the heap.
“Classified” champ Linda-Partap Boodhan ended with 2,750 points to remain at No. 2, while Brittany Joseph, who was crowned national champ at age 14 the year before, dropped to third from the top spot as she ended with 2,400 points.
Despite missing the Tobago Open, former national champ Natalie Montes finished fourth with 2.050 points, while Caribbean under-13 champ Jasher De Gannes rounded out the top five, 150 points adrift.
Edwards’ mother Verna (1,875) was sixth and was followed by 1963 national champ Merle Baggoo (1,600).
WOMEN – 1. A. Edwards (UTT) – 3,200 points; 2. L. Boodhan (Hawks) – 2,750; 3. B. Joseph (Hawks) – 2,400; 4. N. Montes (Hawks) – 2,050; 5. J. De Gannes (Bishops) – 1,900; 6. V. Edwards (Gladiators) – 1,875; 7. M. Baggoo (Harvards) – 1,600; 8. Nalini Boodhoo (Carenage Blasters) – 1,250; 9. Renuka Sitram (Cunupia Crew) – 1,100; 10. Gyshan Latchman (C. Crew) – 1,050.
MEN – 1. C. Humphreys (UTT) – 2,750; 2. A. Roopnarine (Hawks) – 2,630; 3. A. Wilson (Blasters) – 2,450; 4. R. Burke (Hawks) – 2,250; 5. A. Wellington (Hawks), E. Sorzano (D’Abadie) – 1,800; 7. Kyle Borneo (UTT), L. Darceuil (Hawks) – 1,550; 9. Alaric Humphreys ( UTT), Michael Nanton (D’Abadie) – 1,500.