PLAYERS from 12 countries will be competing from today until Sunday at Mission Beach, Tobago, in the tenth leg of this year's NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) Beach Volleyball Circuit.
It will be only the second NORCECA beach volleyball tournament ever to be staged in this country, coming three years after an event was held at Saith Park, Chaguanas.
The host country will be represented by a record seven pairs, including four of the ten women's teams registered to compete. There are 16 male pairs in the tournament, including three from T&T.
Fabian Whitfield and Daneil Williams, who have played together in five legs this season and placed fourth in the previous stage three weeks ago in St Lucia, will lead the local challenge.
The other T&T male pairs are fellow "Toco Boys" Simon Blake and Colin Bernard, who finished fifth in St Lucia, as well as Jason Dennis and Kevin Rivers.
This country's No. 1 female combination will be Ayanna Dyette and Nancy Joseph, who played with different partners and finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in St Lucia.
Elki Philip, who has played five legs with Dyette this year, will combine with the returning former two-time national champion Andrea Davis. But the other two teams – Shenel Gordon/Latriesha Joseph, Apphia Glasgow/Sherva Charles – are very inexperienced.
Americans William Montgomery and Traci Weamer, who were part of the winning teams in St Lucia, will be combining with different partners.
The United States will be represented by two male and two female teams and their women's combination of Emily Day and Summer Ross, winners of the recent World University Games in Brazil, are the favourites for the gold medal.
Players from Aruba, Barbados, Canada, Costa Rica, Canada, Costa Rica, Dominica, St Maarten, Grenada, Guatemala, Nicaragua, St Lucia, St Vincent, United States and T&T will be in action from 9 a.m. today.
The penultimate stage will take place next weekend in Panama and the 12th and final leg of the 2012 NORCECA circuit is scheduled for the weekend after (November 30-December 2) in Aruba.