FOUR players will represent Trinidad and Tobago at the Pan American Badminton Championships, from tomorrow in the Dominican Republic.
The Trinidad and Tobago Badminton Association (TTBA) did not send a team to the tournament, but Solange Guzman, Anil Seepaul, Virginia Chariandy Balwant and Roger Moore will be competing in the individual events.
Guzman has dominated the opposition to such an extent that she has not come close to dropping a set in singles to a local player since she came across from her native Cuba more than three years ago.
The 28-year-old, who is in the process of becoming a citizen of this country, has captured triple crowns at the last two editions of the National Championships.
Guzman, who collected silver medals in singles and doubles at last year’s Caribbean Badminton Championships (CAREBACO), also won a triple crown at the Venezuela Open last year, but only won the singles title this year as she did not have partners for women’s doubles and mixed doubles.
Balwant is now 51 years old, but continues to win medals in international masters (over-35) events, and was actually the TTBA’s nominee for Sportswoman of the Year this year.
The former multiple national champ, who was one of the leading players in the Caribbean in the late 1970s and 80s, combined with Guzman to take doubles gold at the Venezuela Open last year, and the pair picked up silver a week later at CAREBACO.
Seepaul has the distinction of playing in 12 consecutive singles finals at the National Championships and winning the title five times in a row. He is also a multiple national men’s doubles and mixed doubles champ, but his schedule has been curtailed in recent years because of studies and work commitments.
Seepaul, Guzman and Moore will be playing in all three events at the Pan Am Championships, but Balwant will not be in the women’s singles draw. She will play women’s doubles with Guzman and mixed doubles with Moore, a respected doubles player who is combining with Seepaul in the men’s draw. Guzman and Seepaul are teaming up in mixed doubles.
The tournament will conclude on Sunday.