Jamaican trio dominates CAREBACO Championships
JAMAICA'S top senior player Gareth Henry and Under-19 male and female champions, Samuel Ricketts and Katherine Wynter, respectively, dominated the finals at the 2014 staging of the Sports Development Foundation (SDF)/National Commercial Bank (NCB) Caribbean Regional Badminton Confederation (CAREBACO) Championships at the Alfred Sangster Auditorium at the University of Technology (UTech) Papine Campus on Friday night.
Henry won gold medals in the Open men's singles and Open men's doubles and then took bronze in the Open mixed doubles, while Ricketts copped gold in both the Under-19 (Open) boys' singles and doubles, and silver in the mixed doubles. Wynter also copped gold medals in the Under-19 (Open) girls' singles and doubles and then silver in the mixed doubles.
Henry, who has been struggling with injuries throughout the tournament, showed his class and easily dispatched fellow Jamaican Anthony McNee in two sets (21-17, 21-15) in the final for a well deserved gold medal in the singles.
Henry then returned with teammate Garron Palmer to whip the pair of fellow Jamaicans Wilroy Myles and Jamari Rose 21-19 and 29-27 in the doubles for his second gold medal.
In the mixed doubles, Gareth paired up with sister Geordine Henry as the number-one mixed doubles team, but they had to settle for a bronze medal after they were beaten in the semi-final stage.
"I am not in the best form right now, but to win two gold medals and a bronze from three events is a good achievement. I am a bit disappointed as we could have won the mixed doubles, but overall it was a great tournament," Gareth said.
Meanwhile, Ricketts defeated fellow Jamaican Sean Wilson 21-10 and 21-9 in the Under-19 (Open) boys' singles, while Wynter was equally effective in the girls' equivalent, beating T&T's Kristie Reno-Singh 21-10 and 21-10.
Ricketts then paired up with Sean Wilson to win the boys' doubles against fellow Jamaicans Tremar Braham and Shane Wilson (Sean's brother) 15-21, 24-22 and 21-13 to set up a triple crown berth.
Wynter also set up a triple crown berth when she teamed up with Jade Clarke in the girls' doubles to beat fellow Jamaicans Dematra Mew and Christina Petri 21-16 and 21-11.
Ricketts and Wynter were well on their way to win the triple crown as the number one mixed pair team, but their run was stopped by Jade Clarke and Sean Wilson in the Under-19 (Open) mixed doubles.
Clarke and Wilson defeated Ricketts and Wynter 21-18 and 21-15 to deny the latter the triple crown.
Wynter said that she was disappointed at not winning the triple.
"I wish today (Friday) had gone better as we were outplayed by Clarke and Wilson, but I was very disappointed not to win the triple crown. It has been a good championship for me and to win two gold medals is really good, I will just have to wait until next year," Wynter told the Jamaica Observer.
Clarke said that she was happy with her performance throughout the championship.
"Today (Friday), I played really good and I was happy that we won this match, as my partner (Sean) wanted to win. My main focus was to play my natural game and be there for my partner at the end.
"I wasn't thinking about stopping them (Wynter and Ricketts) from winning the triple, as I was more focused on winning a gold medal to boost my career," the 18-year-old Clarke said.
Local badminton queen Geordine Henry and teammate Mikaylia Haldane captured silver as they went down 11-21 and 17-21 to Barbados' Tamisha Williams and Shari Watson in the Open women's doubles, while Garron Palmer and Mikaylia Haldane defeated fellow Jamaicans Terry Leyow-Walker and Jamari Rose to win the Open mixed doubles.
The next CAREBACO Championship will be held in Suriname next year.