Jamaica badminton team into Pan Am semis

Observer staff reporter

Saturday, February 17, 2018

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Jamaica's men's team booked their spot in the semi-finals of the 2018 Pan American Badminton Championships after defeating Group B rivals Trinidad and Tobago and Dominican Republic 5-0 and 4-1, respectively, at the National Racquet Centre in Tacarigua, Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday.

The matches are determined by the best-of-five games which consisted of three men's singles and two men's doubles.

In the first round of matches, Jamaica wasted no time with the host nation as they dominated Trinidad and Tobago from start to finish in every department.

Jamaica's Dennis Coke was the first to take the court in the men's singles and he easily dispatched Trinidad and Tobago's Nicholas Bonkowsky 21-5 and 21-11. Jamaica's most successful international player Gareth Henry was up next and he was also comfortable when beating Naim Mohammed 21-13 and 21-9 in his singles match. It took Mathew Lee three sets before he could put away Trinidad and Tobago's Renaldo Sinanan to seal the deal for the Jamaicans with 3-0 advantage. Lee won the third men's singles 21-16, 15-21 and 21-11.

In the first of the two men's doubles, Coke teamed up with Anthony McNee and the pair whipped Bonkowsky and Mohammed from Trinidad and Tobago 21-9 and 21-11. The final men's doubles saw Lee teaming up with Samuel Ricketts, who defeated Trinidad and Tobago's Anil Seepaul and Renaldo Sinanan 21-7 and 21-12.

In the second match of the night, the Jamaicans were on the back foot from early as Coke went down 15-21, 21-17 and 21-23 to Cesar Brito from Dominican Republic in the first men's singles. However, Jamaica retured to winning ways when Ricketts defeated William Cabrera Jose 21-18 and 21-17 in the second men's singles to level the match at 1-1. Henry then stepped up and displayed his talent when putting away Wilmer Brea 21-14 and 21-19 to put the Jamaicans ahead at 2-1.

Coke and McNee once again teamed up for the first men's doubles and brushed aside Dominican Republic's pair of Jose and Nelson Javier Ozuna 21-8 and 21-19 to take the match at 3-1 for Jamaica. Henry playing with Ricketts in the second men's doubles, defeated the pair of Brito and Reymi Cabreras 21-19 and 21-18.

The Jamaicans were scheduled to face the United States of America (USA) in the final Group B match yesterday evening. The Americans had defeated both Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago 4-1 and 4-1.

Group A is consisted of Canada, Peru and Barbados.

The semi-finals will be played today with the final slated for tomorrow. The winner of the Pan American qualification will qualify for the 2018 Thomas Cup.

The Thomas Cup will be played in Thailand where 16 teams will vie for the championship. Denmark are the defending Thomas Cup champions.




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