Steely BRC nail crown

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Sport 2 - By PHILIP HACK­ETT by ADRIEL RICHARD at Bay­field

Seven straight ti­tles for Dow­ell

MARK DOW­ELL recorded his sev­enth con­sec­u­tive na­tional ti­tle when he cap­tured the men’s ti­tle as the 2017 Bar­ba­dos In­de­pen­dence In­vi­ta­tional Games Ta­ble Ten­nis Cham­pi­onship ended Satur­day night at the Ta­ble Ten­nis Cen­tre, Nurs­ery Drive.

Janae Lewis re­tained the women’s ti­tle to fur­ther en­hance her rapidly grow­ing rep­u­ta­tion.

There could be more hard­ware for both play­ers when the an­nual na­tional cham­pi­onships con­clude at the same venue next week­end.

Both Dow­ell and Lewis won the in­au­gu­ral event last year and em­braced the op­por­tu­nity to re­peat at the games that are again be­ing hosted by the Bar­ba­dos Olympic As­so­ci­a­tion, which staged them last year in cel­e­bra­tion of the 50th an­niver­sary of In­de­pen­dence.

Dow­ell de­feated fel­low na­tional player Kris­tian Doughty 4-1 in an en­ter­tain­ing con­test in front of a lively and ap­pre­cia­tive crowd.

He took the first game at seven with­out too many alarms but was forced to dig deep to win the sec­ond 12-10.

Doughty went ahead 7-6 when Dow­ell pushed his op­po­nent’s serve into the net. The tall, slimy-built Doughty then looped past Dow­ell to move ahead 8-6.

Slow loop

Dow­ell was back on even terms when he ex­e­cuted a slow loop that Doughty blocked off the ta­ble. The per­sis­tent Doughty drove through Dow­ell’s fore­hand to lead once more, but Dow­ell stood firm and took the sec­ond game.

He seemed to be cruis­ing to a 3-0 lead when he went ahead 6-3. Amaz­ingly, Doughty, with the help of some strong serves, scored eight unan­swered points to win 11-6 and come back into the con­test.

Doughty dropped the first two points of the fourth game, wast­ing the op­por­tu­nity to serve first. A su­perb rally with both play­ers away from the ta­ble ex­cited spec­ta­tors even though crowd favourite Doughty lost the point. Dow­ell went ahead 4-3 and never al­lowed his op­po­nent to get close again as he won games four and five at six and six.

“Ex­pe­ri­ence worked for me tonight. I wasn’t fully pre­pared. I wasn’t warm. I didn’t play the game I wanted to play and make it as en­ter­tain­ing as it could have been. I was a bit late and did not spend much time warm­ing up on the ta­ble,” Dow­ell told NATIONSPORT.

He said he was not ad­versely af­fected by the tremen­dous crowd sup­port for his op­po­nent. He at­trib­uted to this to

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