Sports — 07 August 2016
Taye Parkinson wins Bronze at Central American U13 & U11 Championships!!!

BELIZE CITY, Tues. Aug. 2, 2016–Belize participated for the second time in the Central American Pre-Infantile U13 & U11 Table Tennis Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica from July 27 – 30. This year, the Belize delegation comprised of six players, including Taye Parkinson (age 11), Terry Su (age 13), Devesh Hukmani (age 12), Jude Castellanos (age 12), Jofny Paguaga (age 12), and Kelly Liu (age 13). They participated in four categories at the event – team, singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, and all played in the U13 category with the exception of Taye Parkinson, who played singles in the U11 category.

7 Central American countries participated in this event, and included Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Panama, Costa Rica, and Honduras…

In the U13 category our players were unable to make it out of their groups…

Considering that this was her first time in the international arena… Kelly Liu made an impressive first debut, with many of the coaches from the other countries welcoming our female participation and commenting positively on her level of play. They also expressed similar sentiments of our boys’ team, remarking that they have not seen such improvement from any country in such a short time (this being only our second time attending this event). They were especially mesmerized by Taye Parkinson who at this point was our last hope of medalling in the competition.

Taye Parkinson played the U11 category. Feeling determined to prove himself after his losses in his first two events, Taye Parkinson came back strong by emerging from his group undefeated, beating Skawell Picado of Costa Rica, 3-0; David Herrera of Panama, 3-0; and Kobe Zhang of Honduras, 3-0…

On the final day, Taye Parkinson was scheduled to play against Moises Alvarez of Costa Rica first. He overcame Moises rather quickly with a 3 set straight win. He would then play last year’s champion, Rogelio Castro of Mexico. Taye had played Rogelio last year in the Round of 8 and was unsuccessful against him. This time around, Taye felt much better prepared to overcome Rogelio. This match was closely contested, but in the end Rogelio still proved too much for Taye, as he lost, 1-3. This loss meant that Taye would have to settle for a Bronze Medal in the U11 category.

For the BTTA’s second international pre-infantile event, our juniors have done exceptionally well, with all the other countries from the region acknowledging and encouraging our continued participation at the event…

…This is the first time that one of our junior players has managed to medal at an international event, and this has come only two years after the work with our junior players have begun. We are very proud of this result!

The Belize Table Tennis Association would like to thank the Belize Olympic Committee for its support; the junior players and their parents for their commitment and hard work; our coaches, Gabriel Guerrero and Luis Estefano Valls for preparing the juniors leading up to the event, and for working with them as coaches during the event; to Manuel Paguaga, who was our doctor on site at the event; and all others who contributed towards making this event a successful one.

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