Defending women’s doubles champion Tamisha Williams and Monyata Riviera once again brought glory to Barbados when they won gold for the second consecutive year at the 2019 Carebaco Senior International tournament held this past weekend at the Wildey Gymnasium.
The reigning five-time national women’s champion Williams, and partner Riviera, were awarded the gold medal by a walkover after Tereza Švábíková, and Kateřina Tomalová of the Czech Republic were a no-show on Saturday night.
The number one seed Williams and Riviera performed credibly throughout the double’s competition especially in the semifinal where they came from a set down to defeat fellow Barbadian Sabrina Scott and her teammate Priyanna Ramdhani of Guyana, 17-21, 21-12 and 21-12.
“Last night [Friday] semifinal I was thrilled with our performance, and we fought hard. We came back from a set down to win it, and my partner stepped up because they pressured her. They were gunning at her, and they figured that she was the weaker of the two and she showed them that ‘no, I am just as strong as my partner’ and she stepped up and showed them. Even talking about it gives me goosebumps, she did well, and I am happy we came out with the victory,” said Williams.
“Regarding the singles I felt good about my performance, I made it as far as the quarterfinals, and I played against the eventual winner [Jordan Hart of Wales]. So, I feel good because she is a tough opponent and having seen her win the entire tournament, I don’t feel too badly.”
With international competitors vying for points to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan, Williams explained that the level of competition was also high. “The games in this tournament are comparable to the competition we had in 2017 in Surname, so it was at a very high level. Even though we are happy we were able to get the gold for Barbados, it was bittersweet because I was looking forward to playing in front of the home crowd, but everything happens for a reason.”
Riviera is no stranger to winning international tournaments alongside Williams as they won the Suriname international two years ago in 2017. Speaking on the Carebaco encounter and having reached the final yet again with Williams, Riviera said, “I feel well especially with the fact that yesterday [Friday semifinal] was a tough game. I listened to my partner, and she listened to me, so it was more about teamwork yesterday. Although yes, they were pressuring me a lot, I just remembered what she told me which was to relax and play the shots, and that is what got me through the game, and it is good to have a partner like that.”
Coach Tahelstone Forde was satisfied with what Williams and Riviera managed to accomplish considering they did not have much preparation time coming into the tournament and still came out on top.
“We were the number one seed coming in, but unfortunately the number two seed [Czech Republic] did not play because they had flight issues. Unfortunately, my players did not get to play and managed their skills against them. However, I am satisfied with the win, they are happy with the win, and we will be ranked number one next year again.
“There was a lot of issues coming into preparation. So we only had a couple of preparation practice matches. Monyata was sick, and then Tamisha became sick quickly after, unfortunately, we did not have the Pan American Games to prepare like how we prepared last year with all the international people. Coming into this tournament, I am very surprised they managed to pull off such a successful tournament,” Forde said.
In the championship match of the men’s doubles, Gareth Henry and Samuel O’Brien Ricketts of Jamaica trounced Timothy Lam [United States of America] and Antonio Li [Canada] 21-9 and 21-16 for a comfortable victory. [email protected]