J'can badminton protagonist Ford forges ahead
Special Olympics Jamaica athletics team take shelter from pouring rain that caused the postponement of the evening session at Olympiapark in Berlin, Germany, on Friday.

BERLIN, Germany — Special Olympics Jamaica badminton player Kile Ford continued the push to boost the country's medal tally during men's singles action at the World Games.

At Messe Berlin in the German capital on Friday the 20-year-old Jamaican defeated Stoyan Georgiev of Special Olympics Bulgaria 21-6, 21-9. Later in the day Ford lost 14-21, 11-21 to SO Latvia's Nauris Renmaris, who is considered the favourite in Division 2.

Earlier at these Special Olympics World Games, Ford had teamed with compatriot Travis Ebanks to win silver in the men's unified doubles event.

SOJ's badminton Coach Joseph Clarke, who noted that the competition has been an eye-opener for the inexperienced Ford, was pleased with the effort despite the loss.

Special Olympics Jamaica badminton player Kile Ford prepares to return the shuttle during men's singles action at the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin, Germany, on Friday. Photos: Collin Reid courtesy of Courts, Digicel, Sports Development Foundation

"He easily dismissed Georgiev of Bulgaria in straight sets but against Renmaris the match started out fairly even with Kile, the harder hitter trying to overpower the fast and tactical Nauris.

"But for Kile, it was a struggle to keep up that pace. Again, in the second set he looked to overpower his opponent with smashes, however Nauris showed superior speed and resilience," he said, adding that Ford has developed immensely throughout the Berlin 2023 Games.

In mixed unified volleyball action on Messe Berlin on Friday, Jamaica lost 5-25 and 14-25 to Tanzania but could still be in medal contention depending on other results.

On a wet and chilly day in Berlin, action on the track and in the field at Olympiapark was postponed in the afternoon by organisers due to safety concerns. With a forecast for sunny weather on Saturday it is expected that competition will resume in the morning.

Special Olympics Jamaica has so far claimed 11 medals in Berlin.

Boosted by a much larger delegation four years ago, Jamaica won a record 33 medals at the World Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, after tallying 29 at the 2015 global event in Los Angeles, United States.

Sanjay Myers

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