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Sonja Cassie is champ again

By Shammi Kowlessar

SONJA CASSIE retained her under-11 crown, but was unable to capture a second singles title when the National Junior Badminton Championships continued last Sunday at Central Regional Indoor Sports Arena, Chaguanas.
The niece of former multiple national champion Sabrina Cassie defeated Curleen Sydney 21-13, 21-12 to be crowned under-11 champ for the second straight year. But after getting by Sydney 21-10, 21-14 in the under-13 semifinals, Sonja went under in the title match, 21-15, 21-10 against top-seeded Waynette Thomas.
Sonja’s sister Sandhaya, who has beaten Thomas in last year’s final, competed in the under-15 division for the first time and fought gallantly before going down 18-21, 21-17, 21-13 to Curtisha Cudjoe in the semis. However the top seed was no match for Ananda Ramsingh and last year’s runner-up whipped her 21-12, 21-13 for the title.
Brandon Khillawan really had to work hard to capture the boys’ under-15 crown as, after his first-round triumph, he was forced to battle back after losing the first set in his other three matches. After an 18-21, 21-9, 21-8 victory over Khadeem Ali in the semis, the top seed just nosed out Ihsaan Furlonge 21-23, 21-17, 21-19 in the title match.
Furlonge had halted last year’s national under-13 champ Leon Cassie, the cousin of Sonja and Sandhaya, in three sets in the first round and then upset the No. 2 seed before accounting for Michael Constantine 21-13, 21-12 in the semis.
Travis Sinanan, a gold medallist in doubles in last year’s Caribbean Junior Championships, defeated Reece Marcano 21-13, 21-14 in the under-11 final. The tournament concludes on Saturday when the under-17 and 19 champs will be crowned.
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