It is with great sadness that the death of Trinidad and Tobago’s Dexter St Louis is announced; he passed away on Thursday 16th May following a short illness in the French city of Bordeaux where he had resided for many years,
Born on Thursday 21st March 1968, he was only 51 years old.
Dexter St Louis made his debut for Trinidad and Tobago in 1983, when 15 years old; after, in the early 1990s gaining impressive results against French players and winning a tournament in Martinique, he received a professional contract to play in the French League; for many years he represented Bordeaux.
The leading player in the Caribbean for over three decades, notably he competed in the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games, the first occasion when table tennis was included in the multi-sport event. He raised the eyebrows of the locals when against England, in the group stage of the men’s team event, he remained unbeaten. Even more notably, at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, a period of 16 years later, once again he was on duty for Trinidad and Tobago.
Additionally he competed in the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, later in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games; the Latin American Qualification tournament for the event in the Chinese capital city being one that all present on that occasion in Santo Domingo will never forget.
Competing for the very last available place, in the seventh game against Mexico’s Marcos Madrid, Dexter St Louis appeared down and out; he recovered, secured the vital game by the minimal two point margin, promptly ripped off his shirt and stood on the table in the guise of a successful warrior prince.
An exuberant character, a showman; in fact Dexter St. Louis was the exact opposite. In the hotel, away from the glare of the playing arena, he would be sitting reading the Financial Times or similar. It was not for him late nights and drinking; talk to him and you realised you were in the company of a very astute, intelligent associate, a man of the very highest integrity.
Most significantly, wherever he played, Dexter St Louis was respected, a fact recognised in Xalapa at the 2014 Central American Games; a special presentation was made in his honour, he accepted in his usual gracious manner.
Always on the international stage he was accompanied by his stepdaughter Rheann Chung; she competed in the recent Liebherr 2019 World Championships in Budapest. They were a team, either mixed doubles or one sitting on the bench advising the other.
He passed away surrounded by his wife, Jeromaine and two daughters, Rheann and Axelle.
A character of the sport but most importantly a sportsman in the true sense of the word, always competitive but always fair; our thoughts are with his family, Dexter St Louis is sadly missed but never forgotten.