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Wood leads way for Barbados

marciadottin, [email protected]

Wood leads way for Barbados

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When the final curtain came down on what was an intense and gruelling four days of competition in the third Annual Chinese Association of Trinidad and Tobago Badminton Tournament in Port-of-Spain, the Barbadian players had secured six medals.
Led by Barbados Badminton Association president Kevin Wood, the team won two gold, two silver and two bronze medals, an improvement on last year when they won only two.
Wood won two gold in the men’s doubles with Andrew Clarke and mixed doubles with Shari Watson, as well as a bronze in the men’s singles. Watson was also a bronze medallist in the women’s singles, while Dakeil Thorpe and Nicholas Reifer were the runners-up in the men’s doubles and Tamisha Williams also took silver in the women’s doubles.
Watson took a bronze in the singles category by beating Daysha Francis after losing for the first time this year to Solangel Labastide, the eventual women’s singles champion from Cuba on the previous night, 21-17, 21-18. 
Having to face Labastide again, she was able to bounce back with Wood to win the mixed doubles.  Watson and Wood had to come from behind after losing a close first game against Labastide and Derwin Renales of Trinidad, but as the nerves settled they easily won the second. 
The third and decisive game saw both teams strengthen their resolve to win and there were many tense moments as the teams traded points for most of the game. Watson and Wood held their nerve and sealed the victory winning 18-21, 21-14, 23-21.
Wood defeated Alistair Espinoza of Trinidad in straight sets 21-17, 21-13 for his bronze medal; and later on teamed up with Andrew Clarke to successfully defend their men’s doubles title against the other Barbadian duo of Reifer and Thorpe 21-16, 19-21, 21-14.
Wood and Clarke started well but Reifer and Thorpe stepped up the intensity of their trademark power game and levelled the encounter at one game a piece before the champions regrouped to control the tempo of the final game.
The second silver medal was secured by Williams who paired with Kristi Reno Singh of Trinidad in the women’s doubles category, in an upset over Labastide and Trinidad’a Leanna Castanada who were the clear favourites.
Williams and Singh fought them all the way in an extremely close and heartbreaking first game which gave Labastide and Castanada the advantage. The fiery Barbadian and younger teammate did not give up, playing with good controlled strokes but eventually lost 22-20, 21-15. 
The players have returned home and are preparing for the Barbados Tennis Association-sponsored Badminton in Barbados Tournament to be held from Thursday through Saturday at the Wildey Gymnasium.