Henry prepares for Indonesia sojourn
Dania Bogle, Gleaner Writer
Caribbean men's singles and doubles badminton champion, Gareth Henry, will be heading to Indonesia in late December for a two-month training stint, to enhance his qualifying bid for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
"It's early, but it's training for me to get up to speed with the other players. For my level or speed to be up there, I have to be there for three months," he told The Gleaner.
Henry, who needed to be in the top 100 in the world to make the cut, missed out on qualifying for the last Olympic Games in London (2012), after he climbed to 116 in the rankings. He will need to play as many as 19 tournaments before the end of the qualifying period in 2016 if he hopes to compete in Brazil and join the ranks of Nigella Saunders as Jamaicans who have played in the Olympics.
Henry, 23, has so far played four tournaments and moved steadily up the rankings from 500 to 250th in the world.
"I need to be playing no less than the International Series and Challenges. Making the semi-finals in the international challenges would be good enough to play in Olympics," he said.
Henry is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in sports science at the University of Technology (UTech). He is currently in the third year of his degree, but has already been at the University for four years.
He told The Gleaner that while his travels have meant that it will take longer than the specified four years to complete his degree, it can be viewed as a positive
"It's sports management I'm doing, and I'm going abroad, making new friends and new connections, so for me, it's really a part of the education," he said.