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Dom World coming here

Justin Marville

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Regional dominoes’ most successful nation is now set to host its biggest competition yet.
Three newcomers, including Spanish-speaking powers Puerto Rico, are set to highlight the largest field in tournament history as reigning title-holders Barbados prepare to stage the Domino World Championships from August 14 to 24 at the Barbados Beach Club.
Senior members of the World Council of Domino Federations (WCDF) said they were expecting at least 12 competing countries during yesterday’s launch of the 18th edition at the National Sports Council’s headquarters.
“We’re hoping this is the first step in something that we’ve planned for a while, and that is trying to get as many countries coming together in one place,” said WCDF president Dudley Harris.
“Hopefully, we will do well, as we have always had six countries before, so just to get to ten is a fantastic achievement, and this is a step forward for us because of the hard work that went into it.
“Antigua, the hosts for the next one, are hoping to get a spin-off from this one, so you can imagine how they feel as they too were there with us putting in the work,” he added.
It is a major improvement from the hand the WCDF usually pulls, as the biennial tournament customarily attracts six to eight nations to contest around eight different disciplines.
Even the last competition hosted in Orlando – then rated as the best ever – had only six teams despite being having its first games village situated in a prime tourist location.
But Harris led a small contingent to four countries – first-timers Montserrat, former champions Antigua and St Lucia along with St Vincent – to ensure their support and participation ahead of this summer’s tourney.
“I am a Barbadian first and foremost so of course this is great that it is happening here,” he said.
“We have experience in hosting it before, but now we must look at taking it to a new level.”
St Martin will join Montserrat and Puerto Rico as the newcomers to the competition, while St Vincent and St Kitts are set to make their return following ten- and 16-year hiatuses, respectively.
The United States, Canada, Guyana, Antigua, St Lucia and Anguilla will round out the field of 12, while the WCDF still awaits confirmation from a contingent from St Eustatius.
But the biggest catch has been Puerto Rico, with the WCDF looking to finally break into the Spanish leagues.
“Of course we have some issues with the language barrier as well as the differences in rules, so we have to look at how we can blend the rules,” Harris said. “Hopefully that can happen quickly enough so we can start playing in their competitions.”
Barbados, eight-time champions, are currently in the process of choosing a 38-member team to defend not only their overall title, but multiple disciplines as well.
In 2014, the blue and gold slammers finished with 26 points after successfully defending their mixed pairs, team four-hand and female pairs titles to add to victories in the male pairs and male three-hand.