The Barbados national anthem played proudly after Kennie King and Dominick Scantlebury won gold at the 2019 Carebaco [Caribbean Regional Badminton Confederation] Junior International Badminton Tournament by defeating Leon Cassie and Vance Juteram of Trinidad and Tobago last night.
It was a busy time for Scantlebury who captured three medals with a gold and two silver. He won gold in the men’s doubles teaming up with King, came second to Joseph Lu of Canada in the Under-19 final and a similar position in the mixed doubles with Robyn Sobers.
In the gold medal match in the Under-19 Men’s Division, King and Scantlebury lost the opening set but attacked with purpose in the second and third stanzas to come out on top 18-21, 21-11 and 21-8 at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.
It was a commendable effort by King and Scantlebury to come from behind and neutralise the Trinidadians. King ruled with several ferocious smashes during the exchange and explained that both he and his partner Scantlebury were nervous in the first set but managed to settle down and triumphed for top honours.
That performance made it the second time King and Scantlebury partnered and won gold at the Carebaco level having done so in 2016 when they defeated Suriname in the Under-15 age group played in Aruba.
“In the first set, we tried to play more of their game, which was a faster pace, so we didn’t set up ourselves for the attack. So, in the second set we reset, we set up each other and realise what the opponent’s weak points were and capitalise on that,” King said.
Meanwhile teammate Scantlebury, the lone Barbadian to reach an individual final, had to settle for silver losing in straight sets 21-12, 21-16 to Joseph Lu of Canada. Scantlebury looked a lot more composed and complemented King with some strong attacking strokes.
“My role was to make sure I settled down because just coming from playing my singles game I was still jittery from that. So, in the first game, we weren’t playing the way we normally do which is set up so that he could play the smash, we were pushing and lifting everything. But then in the second and third game I came in, did what I had to do, I set up so that everybody would come up and then he [King] would kill it [smash],” Scantlebury said.
A national volleyball player, Scantlebury played some impressive shots but also made some errors that cost him during his Under-19 Men’s final against Lu.
Admitting that it was not his best performance, Scantlebury said: “It wasn’t my best display, but I came out and tried my best, and I hope that next year I grow stronger especially with the tournaments I have coming on this summer.”
Scantlebury in his final match of the night also went for gold in the mixed doubles with teammate Robyn Sobers but lost in straight sets 21-11 and 21-9 to Tyrese Jeffrey and Priyanna Ramdhani of Guyana.
It was an excellent evening for the Under-19 women’s champion and number one seed Ramdhani with three individual gold medals for Guyana. Ramdhani, in addition to winning the mixed double gold, also featured in the Under-19 Women’s single which she won 21-8, 18-21 and 21-17 against fellow South American and the number two seed Imani Mangroe of Suriname.
Ramdhani was back on the court once more for the women’s doubles, and she teamed up with Chequeda De Boulet of Trinidad and Tobago and they were successful in defeating [21-18 and 21-11] Imani Mangroe and Chaista Soemodipoero, the number one seeds from Suriname.