Top players ready for badminton showdown
Jamaica's top badminton players and upcoming talents will line up against representatives from nine countries at the third annual Jamaica International Badminton Tournament, which will serve off at 10 a.m. today at the National Indoor Sports Centre.
The tournament will climax on Sunday at the same venue and will see the players challenging for overall prize money of US$10,000.00 (J$1.2 million).
Top Jamaican players such as many-time national champion Gareth Henry are expected to challenge in the men's singles, doubles, and mixed doubles competitions.
Number one ranked local female Katherine Wynter, who is also the current All Jamaica Badminton singles champion, will also be in action.
All Jamaica men's champion Dennis Coke will be challenging in the singles, doubles, and mixed doubles categories.
The island's players will all be in action today, with competition set to be decided up to the quarter-finals, with the final match of the day slated to begin at 6:30 p.m.
The top-seeded players in the men's singles competition include Adam Mendrek from Czech Republic and Jan Frohlich, who are seeded at first and second, respectively, while Matej Hlinican of Slovakia and Soren Toft (Denmar), who are seeded at three and four, respectively, should provide a lot of excitement for local fans.
Jamaica's women's doubles team, which was the only local team to advance to the semi-finals last year, will see Mikaylia Haldane and Katherine Wynter seeded at number two, with the pair determined to improve on their placing.
From the region, Barbados's top-ranked player Cory Fangus is also slated to compete.
Jamaica Badminton Association (JBA) president Courtney Henry believes that the Jamaican senior players will have a very good chance against their rivals, noting that the association is also using the opportunity to expose young players.
"The top players are really looking forward to it, and it should be exciting, and we should have a good turnout and get out all the youngsters who play badminton currently to come out," Henry told The Gleaner.