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T&T chases World Handball honours
Captains Mikail Walker and Tiffany Anthony will lead T&T respective men's and women's teams into action today in the Pan American Team Handball Championships in Oceanside, California in the United States, aiming to advance to the World Beach Handball Championships.
Walker with team-mates Derice Biggart, Kemuel Eastman, Hayden Mitchell, Keon Russell, Akim Wills, Jariel Jack, Sherwin Jackson, Mancini Mahadeo and Nikhil Nagoo will tackle Uruguay in their opening match today at 5 pm (TT time).
The sport is relatively new to T&T but the local players have progressed well under coach Kenwin Goden and will be going all out to finish among the top four placings against teams from 11 countries, to qualify for the World Championships to be hosted in Kazan, Russia in July.
"We've been taking part three years now. Leading up to this tournament. The sport has been progressing. We have made it to championships. This is a great accomplishment," said Russell, who played football with the Morvant Caledonia United.
"I came over to handball after a injury from professional soccer. It was supposed to be a sport to recover from my injury but I decided to take it seriously and now I'm playing it at the international level."
Eleven (11) countries are being represented at the tournament from South America, Central America and North America, with the USA men’s team as the defending champion. The other teams are from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Chile, and Venezuela.
Meanwhile Anthony will lead a team, coached by Rhonda Clarke-Goden, which include Fiel Marie-Lewis, Liliah Matthews, Shianne Best, Lordiah Matthews, Delice Guada, Reena Harrilal and Mikailah Walker.
They will be compete against eight other senior women's teams including Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, United States, Uruguay, Chile and Venezuela seeking to book a spot to the World event. The local women's team open against Paraguay at 5.50 pm.
Teams will battle in four days of competition with the semi-finals and finals being played on Saturday and Sunday, on a sand court using the floor of the famous Amphitheater adjacent to the Oceanside Pier.
"Everybody is ready, hyped and just waiting to get out there and represent the red, white and black," said Russell.
Tricia Quaminna is the trainer for both teams.
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