Badminton boss confident ahead of international tournament
Courtney Henry, Jamaica Badminton Association (JBA) president, is expecting local players to give good accounts of themselves, while challenging for the overall US$10,000 (J$1.2 million) prize money at next month's third annual Jamaica International Badminton Championships.
The March 2-5 tournament will take place at the National Indoor Sport Centre.
Nine countries will be represented namely, Jamaica, Australia, Slovakia, Barbados, Canada, Czech Republic, India, Denmark, and Panama.
"The enthusiasm is very high among the Jamaican players. They are looking forward to it because it is a chance for them to play against top competitors from abroad," Henry told The Gleaner.
Competition will be expected in the men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles categories.
All Jamaica single and doubles, men's and women's champion Dennis Coke and Kathryn Wynter are expected to headline a talented local charge.
Mikaylia Haldane and Katherine Wynter are seeded at the number two position in the women's doubles competition.
Many-time national champion Gareth Henry will also bring experience to the team and is expected to feature in the mixed doubles, singles, and men's doubles categories.
GOOD CHANCE FOR JA
While admitting there is a shortage of female representation locally, the JBA boss believes that the Jamaicans will have a very good chance to show their quality against their foreign counterparts.
"I am expecting a good showing from the team. It should be exciting, and we are looking to get some of the youngsters from Mandeville, Montego Bay, and St Ann to compete, where we have shuttle time programmes developing the sport in those areas," continued Henry.
Henry noted that it was not an Olympic year, so more international players, who would usually seek qualification points would not be competing.
The tournament is sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation (BWF), where it is considered a Level Four International Series tournament on the BWF calendar, and within the Pan Am Badminton Confederation.