Stronger TT team this year - Tomlinson
National champion Simon Tomlinson reckons that the men's team that will don black-green-and-gold for the 60th Caribbean Senior Table Tennis Championships is stronger than last year's unit. Improved form and the return to fitness this season of Kane Watson has Tomlinson anticipating a better performance than was obtained in Cuba at the last tournament.
"Given how well we did last year, and we have such a strong team, I think this year should be better," Tomlinson said before speaking specifically about himself and Watson.
"We were playing in North America for the summer and so far, we're both at our highest US rating ever, so that's a good indicator of how we're playing."
Now rated at 2437 in the United States, the 2015, 2016 and 2017 national champion anticipates tough competition when the Championships begin on Sunday inside the National Arena.
"The competition will be pretty hard but we're always up for it so hopefully we'll do very well", he said optimistically.
Last week, Table Tennis Jamaica informed The Gleaner that it had selected Tomlinson, fellow three-time national champions Watson and Christopher Marsh along with veteran Alphanso Morris to represent Jamaica in the men's team event.
"We have a lot of experience as I said and all of us now are a little bit older and a bit more mature, so we know how to handle ourselves. It should be a good show for us", Tomlinson estimated.
Watson incurred a leg injury during Jamaica's second match in the preliminary round group stage and had to withdraw from the remaining team and individual matches of last year's competition.
Tomlinson, who has been training under the guidance of three-time Caribbean champion Stephen Hylton, thinks that the women's team of Solesha Young, the national under 13 and 15 champion, Daydron Lewis, Brittany Murray and Kelsey Davidson also has a chance to do well.
"Some of the younger girls are looking for a little bit more experience but you know they had a really good showing last year so hopefully they can improve on that", he said, reflecting on the bronze medal won by the women's team in 2017.
In a glimpse forward to the individual events, he revealed, "Solesha and I are national champions in mixed doubles, so we will be playing mixed doubles for the Caribbean (title) as well."