Watson bags two titles
School commitments forced Shari Watson to miss the recent Central American and Caribbean Games. But on the local badminton scene she has hardly missed a beat. The reigning national women’s champ continued her dominance of the local arena after picking up two more titles on Wednesday night, winning both the singles and doubles finals of the Shuttlers Summer Open at the Wildey Gym. Watson overcame a strong challenge to beat Mariama Eastmond 21-16, 16-21, 21-13 for the singles championship before pairing with Eastmond to take the doubles crown 21-19, 21-14 over the English pair of Jess Wilkins and Lucy Mason.
Watson wasted no time in demonstrating her superior skills as she seized an early advantage through well chosen, well controlled strokes. Eastmond turned the tables in the second game, though, with her movement on-court and stroke consistency improving to push Watson to various parts of the court. But the final game proved a little easier for Watson as Eastmond showed signs of fatigue having played many games over the three nights of the competition. The men’s singles proved an all-England affair, with Tom Stanford defeating countryman Alex James 21-14, 21-11 after the two had dispatched local top players Andre Padmore and Kevin Wood, respectively.
Stanford’s movement was virtually flawless, leaving little to no openings for James to exploit, and coupled with good racquet control, he easily controlled the first game. James stepped up his attack and pressed Stanford in the backcourt thereafter, but the latter stayed calm before maintaining a steady path to victory. Watson actually lost a match on the night, dropping her mixed doubles final with Padmore to Wood and Sabrina Scott 21-11, 21-17, while Wood returned with Padmore to win the men’s doubles 21-14, 21-15, against Greg Padmore and Andrew Clarke. (PR/JM)