Richardson comes of age at Jamaica Badminton Invitational

Richardson comes of age at Jamaica Badminton Invitational

Thursday, March 26, 2020

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Jamaica's number one female single's badminton player is teenager Tahlia Richardson.

She climbed to the summit of the women's game in the country when she won the All Jamaica Open in 2018 and defended her title at the 2019 edition.

The 18-year-old finished the recently held Jamaica International Badminton Open Tournament with a silver medals as she finished runner-up in the mixed doubles, while playing with Dennis Coke.

It was the first time she was winning a silver medal at the tournament which she began playing as a 13 year old, a signal that she has finally come of age in the sport.

Richardson says that she met her own personal expectations while playing at the tournament which featured international players from countries.

“I would say yes. During the tournament I made small goals and as soon as I achieved that small goal, I made another goal”, she noted.

Richardson explained that the new goal set each time was the same, which was simply making it to the next round of play.

“I definitely wanted to pass the first round for two of the three events I played. I'm very grateful to God that I was able bodied to do my best,” she said.

Having assessed the level of competition at the start of the tournament, she knew where the best chances of success lie.

“I focused on all three in all honesty, but there was always going to be an easier path for doubles and mixed doubles. The women's singles was rough but I just went out and did my best.”

Having made it to the second round of the women's singles, Richardson then drew the defending champion Jordan Hart in the second round, where she found the going very tough. She was eliminated in straight sets, 6-21, 6-21 by the experienced British player.

“She was stronger than me in certain aspects and she used that to her advantage, so I need to work on my strengths,” said the teen.

“She was stronger in her court coverage,” Richardson explained.

The DeCarteret College student was playing with Coke for the first time in competition and found his playing style to be different from what she was accustomed to. Despite the marked difference, however, they were both able to claim silver medals at the tournament for the first time.

“It was a very different experience because all my previous partners didn't play a traditional mix and Dennis plays a traditional mix, so it's something we both have to get used to,” Richardson noted.

She explained that the traditional mix is when the female is mostly at the net (front court) and the male is back court.

She enjoyed the time spent on court with Coke.

“Our chemistry is good so far and the more we play together, we will continue to build our chemistry.”

The sixth former played women's doubles with the former Jamaica number one Wynter and rates their performance highly, despite not getting very far in that section of the tournament.

“Katherine and I played a good game against the Japanese pair who won the tournament. We haven't had much time to train practice, but we are getting better at it,” she claimed.

Richardson is looking forward to heading to college in September and she intends to continue pursuing improvements in her game.

— Dwayne Richards

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