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Bajans sweep ‘Solo’ doubles

By BY Shammi Kowlessar

BARBADIANS sweptthe three open dou­bles titles at the recently concluded Solo Bev­e­ra­ges Open Bad­min­ton Cham­pionships at the Central Regional Indoor Sports Arena in Chaguanas. 

After the four members of their national team had withdrawn from the singles draws, they showed their class in doubles action. 

The Bajans were com­pletely dominant in mixed doubles as both their pairs reached the title match. And with all four players attempting to capture their second crown, Dakeil Thorpe and Mariama Eastmond achieved the feat with a 22-20, 21-17 victory over Shari Watson and Andre Padmore.

Padmore and Watson had beaten Jade Joseph and Anil Seepaul 21-12,

21-11 in the semi-finals

while Eastmond and Thorpe had edged Vir­gi­­­­-

nia Chariandy Balwant and German Milind Ogale 11-21, 21-12, 21-15

after crushing singles champs Kerwyn Pantin and Nekeisha Blake 21-6, 21-8 in the quarter-finals.

Barbados national champ Eastmond and

Wat­son were in tre­men­dous form in the doubles. After dropping just five points in their first match, they overwhelmed singles runner-up Jada Renales and two-time defending national champ Kristi Reno-Singh 21-3, 21-7 and then trounced Bal­want and Stephanie Mit­chell 21-12, 21-4 in the final.

The 51-year-old Bal­-

want, one of the Carib­bean’s leading players of the late 1970s and 80s who is now winning medals in international masters’ events, and Mit­chell had beaten Joseph and Blake 21-13, 21-11 in the semis.

National champs Pan­tin and Keston Friday came within two points of capturing the men’s title in the second set before eventually going down 14-21, 23-21, 21-15 against Thorpe and Padmore.

The top seeds had halted Seepaul and Alistair Espinoza 13-21, 21-14, 21-12 in the semis while Padmore, who had captured a triple crown in the Barbados National Championships just before this tournament, and Thorpe were 21-14, 21-15 winners over Ogale and two-time national singles champ Rahul Ram­persad.

With no Bajans involved in the over-40 division, Andre Padmore and Derek Singh came from behind to defeat Trinidad and Tobago Badminton Association president Derwin Renales and former multiple national champ Daron Da­sent 19-21, 21-11, 

21-13 for the title.

Eighth-time national champ Pantin defeated five-time national champ Seepaul 21-15, 12-21, 21-15 and five-time national champ Blake got past Renales’ daughter, national under-17 champ Jada, 21-16, 21-10, for the singles titles.

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