Samuel Ricketts craves singles success, doubles gold at Jamaica International Badminton tourney

By March 03, 2020

For almost seven years Samuel Ricketts and Gareth Henry formed a formidable badminton doubles team.

From the time they won the doubles title at the 2013 Santa Domingo Open, the two evolved into a powerful and respected duo while representing Jamaica. They would go on to win the men’s doubles at the 2018 CAC Games and the 2017 and 2019 Carebaco International.

They also won silver medals at the 2017 Suriname International and the 2018 and 2019 Jamaica International. A lot more seemed in store for the pair but it ended recently with Henry’s sudden retirement and his subsequent migration to the United States.

Now without his usual partner, Ricketts will wet his feet in men's singles at the 2020 Jamaica International Badminton Tournament from March 4-8, when he takes on Barbados’ Shae Michael Martin.

After a few months of preparation, Ricketts said he is ready for the challenge.

“When Gareth announced his retirement, I started to train full time in England; so I have been training full time since October and have been working in implementing new tactics and new mentalities,” he told Sportsmax.TV at Tuesday’s launch of the tournament at the headquarters of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) in Kingston.

“I have definitely gotten fitter but also the mentality of a single player, you are out there on your own and it’s kind of tough because when I was out there with Gareth, you kind of have that partnership but on the single court it’s just you.

“I have grown in some sense but I still have some ways to go.”

In spite of the work in progress, Ricketts has set himself some goals for the tournament that he believes are well within his capabilities.

“In this tournament, I am hoping to get to the quarter-finals but definitely winning doubles,” said Ricketts, who has a new doubles partner in Shane Wilson.

“My intention is to play with conviction and confidence and one of the things I have been working on it not worrying about expectations that people have of me or even what I think people think, but just going and knowing this is how we train. Your coach believes in you, you believe in yourself and you believe in God so God has given you everything that you need to give your best.

“For me, it’s just enjoying badminton and knowing all the work you’ve put in its here. You’re going there to accomplish something so that’s part of my goal.”

As it relates to his ambitions of winning the men’s doubles, Ricketts believes that in Wilson, he has a new partner who is not only capable but someone who he already has a relationship with; a familiarity that can produce the desired results.

“Shane and I are brothers before, so Shane and I trained together in Mandeville under Howard Ranger and so we used to train for like seven to eight years,” he explained. “We actually moved up to England together and we were at the same university/college setting and so he and I have known each other for a long time.

“He knows my history, my background, who I really am. We will be just fine on the court.”





Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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