Table tennis | 22 July 2019
Seychelles lose out on men’s team event bronze medal
Seychelles lost the third place playoff match and the bronze medal went to hosts Mauritius as they lost 0-3 in the table tennis men’s team event at the Centre de Tennis de Table, Beau-Bassin, Mauritius yesterday morning.
The team had earlier lost their semifinal match 0-3 against Reunion. This was their first ever semifinal match in an Indian Ocean Island Games competition.
The IOIG table tennis competition teed off on Saturdaywith the men’s and women’s team events.
In the women’s category, Seychelles were drawn in group B alongside Madagascar and Reunionwhile the men’s team were drawn in group A alongside Comoros, Mayotte and Mauritius.
In men’s pool elimination matches, the Seychelles team comprising Godfrey Sultan, Nicholas Esther and Mario De Charmoy-Lablache beat Comoros 3-0 and also beat Mayotte 3-2 and lost 1-3 to Mauritius. Coming out second in the pool, they booked themselves a place for the cross knockout semifinal againstgroup B winners Reunion. The Seychelles’ men’s team could not withstand the pressure from the Reunion side and lost the semifinal 0-3. Sultan lost the first game 0-3, De Charmoy-Lablache lost 1-3 and Esther lost his game 1-3.
Sultan, De Charmoy-Lablache and Esther lost 0-3 to the Mauritian team who won the bronze medal.De Charmoy-Lablache was the first to be eliminated on the 0-3 (11-13, 8-11, 11-13) score, followed by Sultan who lost 1-3 (13-15, 11-9, 10-12, 6-11) and Esther went down 0-3 (3-11, 13-15, 12-14).
“All I can say is just hard luck for us otherwise we could have done better. The boys did play well but when the opponents are playing better than you that’s not your day. All the sets were very close in this bronze medal game but we just couldn’t get the break,” said Seychelles’ table tennis team coach, Pakistani Arif Khan. He also expressed his disappointment for not winning a medal(either silver or bronze) which he said they came so closeto win.
Coach Khan though hopes for better performances and why not medals in the remaining matches during the week.
In the women’s team event, Seychelles were drawn in pool B alongside Madagascar and Reunion. The team made up of Christy Kilindo, AnniessaBenstrong and Laura Sinon were eliminated in the pool stage after losing to Reunion. They started well by beating the same side 3-2 in their first encounter but lost by the same score (2-3) to Madagascar. The Reunion team managed to beat the Malagasy team 3-2 to book their place for the semifinal.
The gold medal for the men’s team event went to Reunion with a 3-1 win over Madagascar, while the Maldives took the women’s’ team event gold medal with a 3-2 victory over hosts Mauritius. Madagascar won the bronze medal ahead of Reunion.
Text and photos Patrick Joubert in Mauritius