Tomlinson hopeful about CAC qualifiers

February 23, 2018
Tomlinson

Encouraged by the results of Jamaican players at a recent tournament in Florida, national table tennis champion Simon Tomlinson is positive about the team's chances to qualify for the CAC Games. Tomlinson believes the match play against CAC rivals will help when the qualifying tournament starts in Cuba on February 28.

He is also hoping that sponsorship will fall into place in time.

Tomlinson finished second in the 2,400 rating category at the Broward Table Tennis Club February tournament to Andres Monsalve of Venezuela and helped a Jamaican team to third in the 4,800 team event with three-time national champion Kane Watson who reached the quarterfinals on the Championship Singles. Their opponents included players from Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Columbia.

QUALIFICATION LOOKING GOOD

"They will be trying to qualify and well so the fact we were able to compete so effectively with them from now, given that we have and a little more time to prepare", he assessed, "it's looking good for the qualification so hopefully we can something happen there."

Tomlinson, a student-athlete at the University of Technology, had won the 2,200 category when he played on the Broward tournament a few months ago. "It was a lot harder competition and I was fighting the flu the whole time", he recalled. "I'm not sure how I managed to pull out the silver", Tomlinson considered.

"I'm not happy but I'm not disappointed either", said the Jamaican champion.

Speaking in Kingston last week, he described the CAC Games table tennis event as 'a huge tournament'. "The last CAC Games that I played in was what led to my contract in Sweden", he explained, "so hopefully we can get the sponsors to go there as well."

The Jamaicans got some insights into the style of the Central Americans. "They play a bit more off the table, a lot more countering", he observed. "We stay more up to the table and try to attack as quickly as possible so having to counteract their game is a bit difficult but we can adjust", he analysed.

The Broward tournament was a successful venture for other Jamaicans. Youngsters Solesha Young and Azizi Johnson combined to win the Under-3000 Team Event with Young taking first in the Under 1600 singles. Mark Phillips finished a close second in the Under 2200 singles to Van Ly of thr Broward club.

Kwesi Willoughby won the under 1800 singles.

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