HISTORY was made over the past weekend as a strong Guyana Junior tennis team was able to finally turn the tables on rivals Suriname and French Guiana in their annual meet.
It was a decisive win for the Guyanese tennis team who played with passion and a high degree of discipline, as they overcame all odds and were finally able to win the Inter- Country competition for the first time in over 10 years of competition.
Now rebranded as the Cup of the Guianas (formerly Inter-Guiana Games), the tournament attracted top junior players from Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana, who competed in the Under- 12, Under 14 and Under -18 categories.
A total of 56 matches were played over three days that included singles and doubles matches, at the GBTI Recreational Centre and the Harry Panday court. It was an event which was thoroughly entertaining as it was competitive.
Guyana was dominant this year as they copped an unprecedented five (5) gold medals and one (1) silver in the six categories, with Suriname coming in second (5 silver and 1 bronze) while French Guiana took third (1 gold and 5 bronze). In the final tally Guyana placed first with 29 matches, Suriname 16 matches and 9 matches to French Guiana.
Outstanding performances at the tournament came from Jeremiah Kalekyezi and Vadeanand Resaul winning all 6 matches in the Under 14 category. Afruica Gentle and Kalyca Fraser also secured all wins in the Girls 18.
The outstanding players for French Guiana were Sael Geer and Julien Gaillot in the under 18 boys, who won gold for their country. For Suriname, the Under 14 boys, Yannick Issa and Shane Hermelijin secured the most win for their country.
The Guyana team which benefited immensely from being able to train at the GBTI Tennis Courts over the last two months, was a well-oiled unit and was finally able to turn the tables in 2017.
Special credit also has to go to coaches Shelly Ramdyhan and Leyland Leacock, and all the other tennis coaches who assisted in their preparation.
The Guyana Tennis Association, sponsors, parents and friends of tennis were also instrumental in making the achievement possible through their hard work and dedication.
Home court advantage brought additional excitement to the Guyanese team as vocal supporters were able to `egg on’ the players to higher levels and win some very competitive matches.
Sponsors for the event included, Demerara Distillers Limited, Desinco, Star Party Rental, Massay, De Sinco, Guyana Olympic Association, National Sports Commission, Assuria, Banks DIH, Mae’s School, GBTI, RKV Persaud Land Surveying Services, Sheltez Tennis Club, Harry Panday, Rorima Tennis Club, Non-Pariel Tennis Club and Le Ressouvenir Tennis Club.
The next Cup of the Guianas tournament will be held in Suriname in 2018.