The battle lines have been drawn as the third night of the Barbados Badminton Association’s Junior National Championship saw a number of juniors dig deep to secure their places in the finals to be held Sunday afternoon at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.
Shae Martin led the charge to book spots in all categories in the U17 and U19 divisions with impressive wins over his opponents, with his long standing doubles partner Amanda Haywood doing likewise. Martin’s strongest competition in the singles will come from the young emerging talent Keshem Moore, who is also his doubles partner.
Throughout the tournament Moore has been steady, but last night proved that he was ready and capable of challenging the best with a nail-biting 21-18, 25-23 victory over Jehu Gaskin. The former Ellerton Primary schoolmates were quite measured and calculating with their shot selection in order to gain an advantage to obtain scoring opportunities.
In the first game Moore was in complete control having opened up a four point gap before the first interval. The lead later extended to six with the score at 19-13, but Gaskin fought back well to pull within two points while staving off two game points. However, Moore scored the next point and took the first game.
In the second, both players constantly traded points by way of powerful drives, smashes and well placed drops. With the scores locked at 13 all, Gaskin pulled ahead by four and eventually positioned himself to level the match with two game points in hand.
Despite this, Moore held his nerve to lock the scores at 20. Both then went deep into their bag of tricks and with the scores on 23 all, Gaskin missed a front court smash into the net that he worked beautifully to set up in the rally. This was followed by another unforced error giving Moore the game and victory.
Although failing to make the U17 final, Gaskin made the U19 singles contest when he defeated Nicholas Sobers 21-15, 12-21, 21-17 while Moore will have multiple opportunities to take the coveted titles which all of the juniors have spent months in preparation.