Stars line up for Draykin Table Tennis Open
National champion Simon Tomlinson leads an entertaining line-up for this Saturday's Andrey Dryakin Table Tennis Open to be played at the Alfred Sangster Auditorium on the campus of the University of Technology. Action starts at 9:00am with Tomlinson, former national champion Kane Watson and national rural singles champion Mark Phillips swinging to the table at 11:00 a.m. when the first round of the men's singles will start.
At his best, the 24-year-old Tomlinson is lightning fast with drilling topspin drives firing off both his backhand and forehand.
Tomlinson and Watson will be right at home as they are students at UTECH and actually train inside the host venue. They will be on alert at this early season tournament with Phillips, a student at the University of the West Indies, in the field. All three have gained experience overseas as teammates on the national team.
Also in the field is the durable left-hander, Rudolph Sinclair, whom Phillips defeated to win the national rural title, and the two veterans of the field Samuel Lamount and Alphanso Morris. Lamout depends on a steady forehand topspin from all areas of the court, while Morris is a quick driving close-to-the-table attacker.
National women's champion Shenique Clare is overseas and Yvonne Foster, the woman Clare defeated to win the nationals, isn't entered. That leaves Kesley Davidson, the 2016 Caribbean Pre-Cadet under-11 silver medallist, as the female player to watch the most. Davidson will play in the under-13 and 15 categories.
Her performance in the Cadet tournament earned her a trip to an International Table Tennis Federation training course in Lima, Peru last August.
Paralympics dynamo Alphanso Cunningham will bring some star power to the Para section of the tournament.
There will be star power off the table as well with 1990 National champion Keith Evans named as a member of the organising committee.
This event is new to the local table tennis calendar and is being staged by the Kingston and St Andrew Table Tennis Association. It features play in the men's and women's open, the men's B and C and the under 9, 11, 13, 15 and 18 age group categories.