Lothian expects medal from TT trio
Jamaica's men's team will contest the quarter-final of the Perfect 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Malawati stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, after topping Group P by default, following the withdrawal of African nations Ghana and Democratic Republic of Congo because of ineligible players and financial reasons.
The three Jamaicans who defeated Morroco and Laos by identical 3-0 margins - Michael Hyatt, Mark Phillip and Kane Watson - were given similar results in walkover wins against both African countries after their withdrawal.
At press time, the Jamaicans, who topped Group P with maximum eight points ahead of Laos (seven) and Morroco (six), were yet to know their quarter-final opponents for today.
Table Tennis Jamaica's president, Godfrey Lothian, was expects the team to medal.
"Jamaica is waiting to play the quarter-finals, and as president of Table Tennis Jamaica, I am really elated. At the World Championships in 2014, we won the Fifth Division, so when the country goes to a global tournament, there is expectation. Now, two years later at a global tournament, we are on a roll to the quarter-final, so I am extremely happy," he told The Gleaner.
CHAMPION IN SWEDEN
He added: "One of the problems we have is that the national champion, Simon Tomlinson, is playing club table tennis in Sweden, therefore, he is not in Malaysia with the team, so we have a drawback. But I am thinking that Michael Hyatt, a three-time Olympian, young Mark Phillips and Kane Watson are a fairly good team and they will do well and we are expecting to medal," he commented.
In their first game on Sunday, Jamaica defeated Morrocco. Hyatt dismissed his opponent 11-6, 11-4, 11-5, Watson won 13-11, 11-5, 11-7 and Phillips won 11-4, 1-10, 11-4 win in the final match.
In the second game against Laos, Hyatt scored a narrow and nail-biting 3-2 win 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-13, 4-11 over Phathaphone Thavisack. Watson then brushed aside Mosangsinh Sonpasith 3-0, winning 11-5, 11-4, 11-3 and Phillips beat Oliyavong Phonepaseud 3-2 in five sets 6-11, 12-10, 11-3, 6-11, 11-7.