Reigning men’s national badminton champion Cory Fanus was among a group of athletes from Barbados to impress in the just concluded Solo championship held in Trinidad and Tobago.
Fanus, a member of Shuttlers Badminton Club, brought home silver in the senior men’s open singles and gold in doubles with a more experienced partner in Dakeil Thorpe who is no stranger to the Solo competition.
The juniors also represented well with under-11 boys champion Joshua Valere who also claimed silver in the under-13 male doubles with teammate Harrison Griffith.
Speaking with Barbados TODAY, Fanus said this was his first Solo outing in the twin-island republic and he totally enjoyed the experience, so much so that he was looking forward to next year.
He explained however that gauging from his experience in the tournament, there was still more work to be done with his game but he was pleased with the improvements made especially where his racket speed was concerned.
“In terms of speed and aggression on court I would say there is still some work to be done but otherwise moving the shuttle around is fairly alright compared to those guys [in Solo].
“My racket speed was a lot better compared to Carebaco (Caribbean Badminton International Championship). I was able to pull down the shuttle a lot better compared to before where I used to always hit the shuttle high most of the time. So I was actually able to get down the shuttle more in this tournament,” he said.
The University of the West Indies student who became national champion on his birthday on March 13, has had a great year in the sport and said there was a lot he had to sacrifice in order to get this far.
“The long training hours I put in on mornings and evenings have paid off. Like sometimes friends want me to go out and I can’t because I have to train the next morning and those are the sacrifices you have to make in order to become good and they don’t understand that sometimes. But within myself I know that is what I need to do in order to get better in the sport.
“I do beach work, on-court work on evenings and I am also in the gym doing strength work, so balancing all three of those has helped me improve my game especially for the Solo tournament,” said Fanus, now preparing for the Suriname International scheduled for November 14 to 20.
Thorpe who fell just short of making it into the semifinal of the senior men’s open, pointed out this was his second time winning the doubles at Solo.
He described the experience with his new partner saying: “It was a bit challenging because we are not fully gelling yet but we are getting there. But overall it was not bad, it was a good experience because Fanus listens well so if he made a mistake the first two times I would tell him ‘well alright, try this shot the next time’ and he would try it and it would work. So then as the game went on he [Fanus] kept improving on strokes and we kept capitalizing.”
The juniors also shared their experience and for ten-year-old St Angela’s student Joshua Valere it was a learning experience.
“It was quite the experience. I put in a lot of work but I was not satisfied with my performance because in the doubles I could have worked better. But I was getting frustrated because we were losing. Going forward I need to improve on my footwork and my back hand,” Valere said.
Meanwhile his doubles partner Harrison Griffith was third in the under-13 boys singles but was still pleased with his performance.
“I am satisfied with my performance. I met players that beat me but next year I hope to go back and beat them as best as I can. I did a lot of mental training and tried very hard to perfect my backhand which had been the weakest and it worked very well for me in the tournament,” said Harrison, currently a student at Christ Church Foundation.