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Balwant sparkles in Florida again

By BY Shammi Kowlessar

VIRGINIA CHARIANDY BALWANT picked up from where she left off last year by capturing three medals last month in Florida, USA.

Competing in the Graham/Toms Masters Badminton Tournament in Miami, the former multiple Caribbean doubles and mixed doubles champion won the gold medal in doubles and notched silver in mixed doubles in the over-50 category.

Balwant also threw her hat in the ring in the over-35 doubles and came away with a bronze medal.

The 52-year-old also sparkled in this tournament last year, winning gold medals in doubles in both the over-40 and 50 categories and picking up a bronze in the over-50 mixed doubles draw.

Balwant next participated in the Canadian Masters Championships in April and walked away with a bronze in the 45-plus age-group. However, the highlight of the former national champ’s season came in August when she picked up bronze medals in the team event and 35-plus doubles in Italy.

Later in the month Balwant combined with Solange Guzman to secure bronze in the Santo Domingo Open in Dominican Republic and right after the two notched silver in the Suriname Open.

Balwant, one of the leading players in the region in the late 1970s and ’80s, returned to competition about five years ago after retiring for over a decade. 

She has been winning medals in international masters’ events every year since her return and will be the Trinidad and Tobago Badminton Association’s representative for Sportswoman of the Year for the second year in succession.

The date has not yet been finalised for the 2013 First Citizens Sports Awards, but it usually takes place this month. 

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