The place was Alberta, Canada, the occasion the third Junior Pan American badminton championships and for Priyanna Ramdhani, it was like a dream come true to be standing on the podium receiving a silver medal for her country at the prestigious games.
It was her finest hour.
She ended the championships where some 15 countries participated with a silver medal in the consolation single and two bronze medals in girls and mixed doubles competitions.
Not bad for a 10-year-old.
Priyanna Ramdhani is a unique personality. She is petite but pretty tough. And she is versatile.
Priyanna Ramdhani is the daughter of Gokarn Ramdhani, president of the Guyana Badminton Association which explains why she is the top young badminton player in the country.
The elder Ramdhani, who is also Coach of the Yonex Badminton Club, says his daughter has what it takes to be successful at the international level.
“Fifteen countries participated at the Pan American Championship and Guyana was the only Caribbean nation to stand on the medal podium,” father Gokarn says proudly.
“So it is good for us, for Guyana to beat some of the better countries that are training year round. It is a great accomplishment.”
Priyanna’s success last year was not limited to the Pan American Championships alone. In fact, she also won medals at the Caribbean Badminton Championships held last August in Santo Domingo.
She was outstanding winning two gold medals in singles and doubles and silver in the mixed doubles. At this championship all the singles matches were played in the round-robin format and she won against all her opponents from the seven countries that participated without dropping a game making her the best in the tournament and the Caribbean. In the final against Shezelle McTyson of Jamaica Priyanna won 21-14, 2-11.
“At the Caribbean Games, seven countries competed, and calling her the best has been proven. It was a round robin tournament and she had to play every single player from all seven countries in the different divisions: singles, doubles and mixed doubles and she came out on top without losing a set in all of her games,” said the elder Ramdhani.
Locally, Priyanna Ramdhani competed in nine tournaments and she was dominant in the Under 11, 13 and 15 categories in both singles and doubles.
“She did much better from last year so you can see that she is progressing each year,” he says.
In February Priyanna won the U11 and U13 singles competitions at the annual National Sports Commission Mashramani tournament and was runner up in the U17 division.
In June she won the singles and doubles titles at the Guyana Olympic Association tournament and she was the runner up at the Woodpecker Products Junior Christmas Under-19 competition last December.
Apart from badminton, Priyanna also competes in table tennis.
She participated in the Mashramani, Independence and National School’s tournaments earning herself two bronze medals and a gold medal in the schools’ tournament in the 10-years-and-under age category.
Showing her versatility Priyanna won the Marian Academy chess competition and placed third in the U12 100m at her school’s track and field championships.
With such a strong performance last year, Priyanna Ramdhani should be a strong contender for the junior Sportswoman-of-the-Year award at the National Sports Commission awards.