Elton Tucker, Assistant Editor - Sports
Jamaica's national senior badminton champion, Charles Pyne, produced a fantastic performance yesterday to advance to the men's singles quarter-finals at the XVI Pan American Games.
Canada-based Pyne came from behind to defeat the number two seed, Peru's Rod-rigo Pacheco, 20-22, 21-17, 21-10 and now has his sights firmly set on gold at the tournament.
"It has been a great start for me," the 30-year-old Pyne said after his big win at the Guadalajara Multipurpose Gymnasium.
He added: "I had a tough draw in that my second round would be a match against the number-two seed. The first round was a good warm-up match. It was not that difficult. The second round was very tough, playing against Peru's Rodrigo Pacheco, the number-two seed. He is a player I previously lost to in the Guatemalan Open in two sets, so going three sets with him and coming out the victor was a really big win for me.
"It has opened up the draw for me to advance and it has got me a lot of Olympic qualification points. I now have my sights set on gold ... that is, going all the way."
Manager Audley Astwood was high in his praise for Pyne, who started playing the game at age eight while attending Stella Maris Prep, saying it was the best he had seen the four-time national champion and Commonwealth Games representative play.
"Charles (Pyne) played exceptionally well today. He started so quickly that I for one was wondering if he would be able to continue throughout the match. But he kept that tempo going and lost a close first set 20-22. He was able to maintain his concentration in the second game and take that one at 21-17. In the third he completely dominated in a way that I have never seen Pyne dominate a match before. Pacheco seemed to have no answer as Pyne romped to an 8-0 lead before closing out the set at 21-10. An exceptional performance by Pyne, probably the best I have seen him play when you consider the calibre of the opposition," Astwood said.
The mixed doubles pair of Gareth Henry and Mikaylia Haldane is also having a good runand, like Pyne, has reached the quarter-finals of their event.
In the round of 16, Henry and Haldane beat Mexican number two seeds Cynthia Gonzalez and Lino Munoz 21-14, 21-19. Today Henry and Haldane will go up against crack Americans Howard Bach and Paula Obanana while Pyne faces Brazil's 20 year-old Alex Tjong.
In other results yesterday Henry and Pyne were beaten 21-12, 21-5 in men's doubles by Americans Tony Gunawan and Bach. Women's doubles pair of Katherine Wynter and Haldane lost a tough match 21-17, 17-21, 14-21 to Orosameli Cabrera and Veronica Vivieca of Dominican Republic while in mixed doubles Pyne and Wynter were beaten 21-19, 21-11 by Guatemala's Heymard Humblers and Nikte Sotomayor.
NOTE: Yesterday's report had erroneously said Pyne was beaten 21-9, 21-9 by Venezuela's Kisbel Matute. It was in fact Pyne who won and advanced following that scoreline.