Wed | Jun 26, 2019

Marsh to retire after Caribbean TT Champs

Published:Friday | September 21, 2018 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Christopher Marsh
Simon Tomlinson (left) and Kane Watson at last year’s National Table Tennis Championships at G.C. Foster College in Spanish Town.
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Christopher Marsh hopes to crown his long career with a medal when the 60th Caribbean Senior Table Tennis Championships begin at the National Arena on Sunday.

The tall left-hander says that he will retire from competition after the championships, ending an international career that began when he was 16. Marsh is quietly confident that Jamaica can win a medal in the men's team event.

In an interview on Wednesday, the 42-year-old Marsh indicated that he was ready to give of his best. "Feels good, feels great because I was planning on calling it quits this year, but I say I am going to see if I can give, you know, play my last punch."

When asked for clarity, he added, "Yes, you know, I'm planning to retire after the championships, not retire fully but maybe from competitive play."

When he started playing table tennis at Excelsior High School, he didn't know he was embarking on a long journey in black, green, and gold.

"I just loved the game and wanted to become a good player like some of my other friends at the time," Marsh recalled.

"When I realised that I was on the verge of making the team, ... I remember telling my mother, 'Mummy, I know I'm going to travel this year. I'm going to make the team so get my passport ready'," the big swinging Marsh said.

Michael Hyatt, Simon Tomlinson, Kane Watson, and Marsh won a divisional team title for Jamaica at the 2014 World Team Championships.

The man who has played for Jamaica in the region and at the Commonwealth Games pinpointed the 1998 Caribbean Championships as his best memory of playing for Jamaica.

"I always remember that championship in 1998 on that team with some of the guys, some of the top guys - Stephen Hylton, Michael Hyatt, Joe Dibbs - back in Trinidad," he related. "As a team", he elaborated,

"that was one of the high points in my national career."

Tomlinson, Watson, Marsh, all three-time national champions, and Alphanso Morris will bid to give Jamaica the men's team title for the first time since 1998.

"Simon is playing good. Kane is playing good as well, myself not playing bad at all, I've been playing consistent throughout the year," he said, "although not many tournaments, but we will put on a good show if we gel together and play as a team."

Marsh has a realistic view of the road to the podium.

"You have the top two teams, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, and on the outside, you have Guyana and Barbados, but we know once we put in the work and we get a good draw as well, because sometimes it's the luck of the draw as well, we'll be able to medal," he said.