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(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – Saturday 10th March marked the first ever Taiwan- Saint Lucia Table Tennis Friendship Cup, sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Taiwan International Cooperation Development Fund (ICDF) .
This tournament took place at the Beausejour Indoor Facility. Close to 60 players participated.
In the pre-ceremony the President of the National Table Tennis Association, Mr. Teddy Mathews addressed the players giving his words of encouragement and inspiration. He highlighted the strength and importance of the diplomatic relations between St. Lucia and Taiwan and expressed his gratitude in this collaborative event.
Honourable Hermingild Francis, Minister for Home Affairs and National Security, in his brief remarks, took the opportunity to highlight the importance of events such as this tournament. He further implored the young players to continue striving for success.
H.E Ambassador Douglas C.T. Shen expressed his excitement and satisfaction with the turn out of the tournament.
He commented on the strong friendship between Taiwan and St. Lucia saying “most of the time we focus our efforts on agriculture or in ICT, but we serve a mission in the expression of culture and sport”. He mentioned the importance of the sport of table tennis in the lives of the individuals of all ages. His Excellency closed off his address with words of wisdom and encouragement for the players.
Other noteworthy guests and participants were the Mayor of Castries Peterson Francis, Parliamentary Representative Shawn Edward and George Belrose.
The day commenced with the VIP Table Tennis Competition which involved the Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), His Excellency Ambassador Douglas C.T Shen and various officials of the government of St. Lucia and the Taiwan Embassy, with His Excellency placing first. He defeated his opponent, Honourable Hermingild Francis, Minister of Home Affairs and National Security, with the scores 11-6 and 11-9 in the finals. The 3rd place finishers were Minister Edward Tao of the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and George Belrose.
This was followed by the Under 18 tournament for both boys and girls.
The male category saw a clash between the 2013/2014 Jr. Male Table Tennis Player of the Year Andrew Daniels and the top seeded player of the tournament Deandre Calderon. This was a tightly-contested match, however Andrew emerged victorious winning 3 games to 2 in an exciting 5 game thriller. Andrew won with the scores 14-12, 5-11, 11-6, 4-11 and 11-7. The third place finishers were the 2017 Interschool’s Under 15 MVP Ishmel Moise and the 2015 National Jr. Male Table Tennis Player of the Year Mario St. Cyr.
The female category was just as exciting. The 2014 to 2017 National Female Table Tennis Player of the Year, Cherese Darcheville, defeated the 2017 Interschools Table Tennis Champion, Zarianne Anthony. Zarianne Anthony took the first two games 11-5 and 11-9 but Cherese Darcheville fought back taking the next three games consecutively with the scores 11-9, 11-5 and 11-9. The Former National Day Under 15 and Under 18 Champion Mia George placed 3rd alongside the fourth seeded Abigail Nicholas.
The Senior Male Competition was an intense and action-packed battle among the top players of St. Lucia. Carlos Innocent defeated the 2017 Sportsman of the Year Nominee Chris Wells in the semifinals. Adrian Albert overcame the defensive player Vandyke Jude in the second semifinal match. The finals match went the distance with all 5 games being played. The clash between Adrian Albert and Carlos Innocent resulted in Adrian Albert emerging victorious with the scores 8-11, 11-8, 3-11, 15-13 and 11-8. The third place finishers were Chris Wells and Vandyke Jude.
In the Senior Female Competition, Zarianne Anthony edged out Cherese Darcheville with 3 games to 2, placing 1st in the Senior Female Category with the scores 11-4, 7-11, 11-0, 4-11 and 11-2. The third place finishers were Shermaine Blasse Hyacinth and Mia George.
Overall, the tournament was a resounding success with each player enjoying a great day of sportsmanship. Sincere gratitude is expressed to the Taiwan Embassy and the Taiwan ICDF Organisation for their sponsorship of various medals, trophies and gifts such as Bluetooth speakers, headphones and tablets.