Home team wins silver medals at Jamaica International 2020

By March 09, 2020
Back row: Dennis Coke and Matthew Lee, (front row l-r) Samuel Ricketts, Tahlia Richardson, Head Coach Neil Lewis and Shane Wilson at the conclusion of the Jamaica International 2020 Badminton tournament in Jamaica on Sunday. Back row: Dennis Coke and Matthew Lee, (front row l-r) Samuel Ricketts, Tahlia Richardson, Head Coach Neil Lewis and Shane Wilson at the conclusion of the Jamaica International 2020 Badminton tournament in Jamaica on Sunday. Sheldon Townsend

Jamaican men’s doubles and mixed doubles teams won silver medals at the Jamaica International Badminton 2020 that concluded on Sunday at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Takuma Obayashi and Momoko Kimura walked away with the men’s singles and women’s singles titles, respectively. Japan came away with three gold medals as they also won the women’s doubles competition.

Guatemala won gold in the men’s doubles and mixed doubles competition, defeating the Jamaicans in both finals.

The pair of Dennis Coke and Jamaica's number-one female player Tahlia Richardson, fought bravely in the Mixed Doubles final against the Guatemalan pair of Solis Johnathan and Diana Corleto Soto who won the gold medal 23-21, 21-17 in the match that lasted 34 minutes.

Coke shouldered much of the blame for Jamaica not getting the better of their Central American opponents but lauded his partner for her resolve.

“I was getting a bit too tense by trying to play too tight at the net. In the second set, probably the last five points, my elbow was hurting so badly I took my eyes off the game a bit and was thinking about my elbow rather than the game,” said Coke, whose right elbow was heavily taped throughout the tournament.

“I take my hat off to Tahlia. She played very well. I love the fight in her and that gave me the drive to push through my pain and be able to finish strong. It was the match of the tournament for me even though we didn't win it.”

Richardson, Jamaica's women's champion for the past two years, praised Coke for his efforts and suggested that perhaps their lack of experience playing together might have had some bearing on the outcome.

“He went to the physio and got taped but he wasn't 100 per cent. We played a pretty solid game even though he wasn't at his best,” said Richardson who was winning her first international medal for Jamaica.

“We have been recently paired and haven't had much practice. The fact that we made it to finals in such a short time playing together shows that once we get more time together we will better. The Guatemalan pair that we played have been playing together for a much longer time so they understand each other more.”

The final of the men’s doubles proved to be equally exciting as the newly formed partnership between Samuel Ricketts and Shane Wilson after losing the first five points against the Guatemalan duo of Johnathan and Anibal Morroquin, rallied to lead 11-9, and then 20-17.

However, they were unable to get over the hump, eventually losing 22-20. They lost the second set 20-15 and with it the match

Ricketts was disappointed with the outcome.

“We got to 20-17 and we just needed one point but we didn’t manage that aspect well, of closing out the game. That kind of haunted us,” he said.

“It’s sports. It happens. Hopefully, next time we will get a better result.”

Referring to the second game, Ricketts said the disappointment of losing the first set despite playing well, had an impact on their play.

“We weren’t able to fully get our bearings and bounce back. We were in the game and within reach – eight-all, nine-all, but we just couldn’t overtake them.”

Obayashi took singles title 21-11, 17-21, 21-12, in the all-Japanese final against Yushi Tanaka.

Their compatriot Kimura had a much easier challenge against Bulgaria’s Linda Zetchiri 21-12, 21-12.

The most lopsided final on the night occurred in the Women’s Doubles where the Japanese pair of Sayaka Hobara and Rena Miyaura easily dispatched the Peruvian duo of Daniela Macias and Danica Nishimura 21-2, 21-7.

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 SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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