TRINIDAD and Tobago’s Under-21 table tennis players will not be represented in the qualification tournament for the Pan American Junior Games next week in Costa Rica.
Merle Baggoo had admitted right after being elected president of the Trinidad and Tobago Table Tennis Association (TTTTA) on April 18, that it would have been very difficult to meet the deadline (ten days later) for submitting the team.
And even after the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) extended it by four days, the new executive was forced to withdraw.
The TTTTA issued a media release stating that the management, “met three times in two weeks and was working assiduously to try to make this a reality.
“Ultimately an emergency meeting was held and the decision unanimously taken to withdraw the entry and so avoid fines which would have been incurred after the deadline had passed.”
The release, signed by general secretary Bob Roopnarine, outlined several challenges the new administration faced in its attempts to make the trip possible.
“The increased concern for the safety of our players and coach in the midst of the current upsurge in Covid-19 cases and deaths” was high on the list.
Securing finances and travel exemptions were also among the challenges, as well as being able to secure a coach. According to the release, “most of the experienced Level 3 coaches were not available” for one reason or the other.
Derron Douglas, the fourth-ranked player in the country, and Joshua Maxwell occupied the first two positions, respectively, in the trials last month, while 12-year-old Chole Fraser edged Imani Edwards-Taylor to finish to top as both players qualified for the female team.