Jamaica sixth as Canada pocket team title
Ryon Jones, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica's junior badminton head coach, Howard Ranger, is attributing the country's poor showing in the team section of the Ocean Spray/WATA XX Pan Am Junior Badminton Championships to the inexperience of the female competitors.
Jamaica were beaten 3-2 by Peru on yesterday's third day of action at the National Indoor Sports Centre, which saw the team finish sixth among the nine participating teams. They were also sixth last year.
"I am not disappointed, because we went into the tournament knowing that we had some weaknesses with players, in particular some of our girls," Ranger said. "We have been trying to work with them to get them stronger but, of course, the time frame to get them where we wanted was just too short," he added.
Jamaica's attempt at a fifth-place finish got off to a bad start, as the pair of Samuel Ricketts and Mikaylia Haldane went down by two sets to one in the mixed doubles. They were beaten 21-11, 13-21, 17-21 by the Peruvian duo of Danica Nishimura and Ignacio De Vinatea.
Top junior player Anthony McNee pulled Jamaica level following his victory over Diego Yong (2-1) 21-18, 20-22, 21-15 in their men's singles matchup. Peru regained the lead when Daniela Macias easily turned back local girl Katherine Wynter 21-8, 21-14 in their women's singles encounter.
McNee then teamed up with Dennis Coke in the men's doubles to keep Jamaica's hopes alive, as they got the better of Vinatea and Yong (2-1) 21-15, 14-21, 21-11.
In the women's doubles, which was the decisive match, the Jamaican pair of Haldane and Wynter took the first set 21-18, but lost the remaining two 21-9, 21-17 and in effect the match 2-1.
Ranger is expecting a much better showing from the local players in the individual category which gets on the way today with over 25 Jamaicans in action; the first of which will be Dennis Coke, who will bow into action in the under-19 section at 9 am.
Canada, who came into the tournament as the third seed, crowned themselves the 2011 Pan Am team champions after seeing off unseeded Brazil 3-1 in the final.
The Brazilian pair of Victor Garboggini Moretti and Luana Tamara Vicente gave their team the early advantage with a 21-16, 16-21, 21-17 win over Clinton Wong and Kacey Tung in the mixed doubles.
Canada came storming back, however, as they went on a three-game winning streak. Bethany So scored a 21-13, 21-9 win over Lohaynny Vincente in the women's singles before Nyl Yakura triumphed in the men's singles 21-15, 21-7 over Moretti.
The pair of Andrew Wilkinson and Andrew Lau then wrapped up the match with a 19-21, 21-11, 21-8 win over Leonardo Martim Alkimin and Lucas Alves Pinto to give the Canadians their third hold on the title.
Canada's coach Ram Nayyar was very pleased with his team's performance.
"I am honoured to work with these guys and I am overwhelmed, as they really came out and played the way they should have," Nayyar said. "We are not done yet, as we look forward to the individual stage," he added.
Guatemala took third after scoring a close 3-2 win over dethroned champions United States of America, who had to settle for fourth. Barbados were seventh following their 4-1 win over Trinidad and Tobago. The twin-island republic placed ninth after losing 3-0 to Puerto Rico in the eighth-place play-off.