Some of the island’s brightest junior stars continued to shine as the action heated up in the Barbados Badminton Association’s Junior National Championships at the Wildey Gymnasium last night as many attempted to position themselves to take top honours.
Dominick Scantlebury emerged as one to watch with a perfect record of wins on the night. He booked his place in the finals of the U13 boys singles division with an impressive showing over Timothy Marshall winning 21-8, 21-7, where coincidentally he will face off against his brother Keenan, who defeated Dominic Jordan 21-3, 21-5.
Moving up in division, Dominick’s second win was a hard fought one, but he defeated Bryan Cupples 21-15, 21-17 in their U15 singles clash. He would then later partner with his brother in the U15 boys doubles division where they beat the teams of Russell Butcher/Aaron and Philip Pilgrim/Jacoby Waithe 21-7, 21-6 and 21-6, 21-7 respectively cruising in the finals.
Kennie King also enjoyed a productive night defeating Shomari Smith in the U15 singles category 21-15, 21-14 for a semi-final berth and a chance to eventually defend his title. His second win came against the ever-improving Nicholas Sobers where both young men left nothing to chance in what was an enthralling match which went the full distance. Both split the first two games and even at the final interval in the third game, only one point separated them. However, unforced errors and mounting frustration caused Sobers to lose focus and allowed King the win 19-21, 21-17, 21-11.
Despite the loss, Sobers continued to make an impressive showing with two wins, first in the U17 boys doubles with partner Kodie King where they defeated Bryan Cupples and Shomari Smith 21-11, 21-12 and then, when he shocked the No.1 seeded Jaleel Arthur in the U19 singles division with the 14-21, 21-17, 21-17 victory.
Jehu Gaskin was another standout on the night as he seemed poised to make waves in both the U17 and U19 categories as well. Gaskin accumulated a total of three wins in the U17 division defeating Shomari Smith 21-7, 21-8 and partnered with Gavin Robinson to defeat the pairs of John Cupples/Dominic Howard 21-13, 21-13 and Nicholas Howard/Kennie King 21-11, 21-10. His sole win in the U19s was secured with a crushing victory over Chad Springer 21-4, 21-2.
Others such as Keshem Moore, Mackenzie Howard and the heavy favourites Amanda Haywood and Shae Martin are all still in the running to secure either semi-final or final spots across the various age groups and categories, with the majority of the finals being contested on Sunday night.