President of the Guyana Badminton Association (GBA) Gokarn Ramdhani said 2016 was a very successful year locally and internationally for the sport and that he is aiming to continue the development of the sport this year.
“I am pleased to report that the Guyana Badminton Association’s activities for the year 2016 amounted to a lot of success and achievements at both the local and international levels,” Ramdhani told Stabroek Sports.
Ramdhani, who also holds the portfolios of General Secretary of the Caribbean Regional Badminton Confederation and Central American & Caribbean Countries Badminton Confederation declared: “We are looking forward to a very good 2017 and will continue to work with our developmental plan as we see this is getting us more medals on the international circuit.”
According to Ramdhani, several of the discipline’s leading players recorded noteworthy achievements.
“The experience gained by the players during the year saw much improvement in their game and upward direction in development. Our top players continue to show their talent as they performed well on the international circuit standing up to the world ranked players.”
National champion Narayan Ramdhani was the most successful male player rising to number 53 in the world rankings last year.
According to Ramdhani top player Narayan Ramdhani was 53rd World Ranked; won the National Sports Commission (NSC) Junior Sportsman Award for 2015, earned a bronze medal at the Peru Junior International, was a triple champion (3-Golds) at the Suriname Under-19 Junior International, won two silver and one bronze medal at the Caribbean Under-19 International Championships and another bronze medal at the Caribbean Regional Junior Championships.
He also won a silver medal at the Under-19 Team Championships, reached the quarter-finals at the Pan American Junior Championships, placed fifth at the Vancouver Island Under-23 University Circuit Tournament and received a five-year Scholarship to attend College/University and train in Badminton at the Shuttlesport Badminton Academy in Vancouver BC Canada.
His sister Priyanna was also outstanding winning two gold and one bronze medal at the Suriname U15 and U19 Junior International, one silver and one bronze medal at the Caribbean Under-19 International Championships, and two gold and one silver medal at the Caribbean Regional U15 and U9 championships.
Other outstanding individual performances came from Jonathan Mangra, who won a gold medal at the Suriname Under-19 Junior International, a bronze medal at the Peru Junior International and silver medal each at the Caribbean Under-19 International singles Championships and Caribbean Under-19 Team Championships.
The other medal winners were Tyreese Richards who won a bronze medal at the Suriname Under-15 Junior International and Ambika Ramraj who won a silver medal at the Caribbean Under-19 Team championships.
According to Ramdhani, the association has another comprehensive calendar for the year highlighted by many local and international events.
Among the local tournaments are GUMDAC Open Doubles Tournament (January), the NSC Mashramani Invitational Tournament (February), Trophy Stall Independence Tournament (May), Over-40 Doubles Tournament (June), GOA Olympic Day Tournament (June), Nationals Schools (August), Guyana Classic Invitational Tournament (December) and the Woodpecker Junior Christmas Singles (December)
On the international circuit, the GBA boss revealed that Guyana is expected to participate in the Jamaica International Senior Tournament (March), the Peru International Senior Future Series (March), the Peru Junior Under-19 Championships (March), the Suriname Easter International Junior Tournament (April), the Pan American Senior Championships in Colombia (April), the Trinidad & Tobago Senior Tournament (May), the Canadian Open Senior Tournament (July), the Yonex US Open Senior Tournament (July), the Pan American Junior Championships in Canada (July), the Caribbean Regional Championships CAREBACO in Trinidad (August), the Inter-Guiana Games (IGG) (October), the BWF World Junior Championships in Indonesia (November) and the Suriname International Open Tournament (November).
He disclosed that the association faces a constant difficulty in acquiring supplies of shuttlecocks to train players for international events. He explained that the shuttlecocks were very costly and that the association was trying to acquire a supplier to help offset this situation.
Ramdhani also expressed his disappointment at not being elected on the executive of the Guyana Olympic Association.
“I was also disappointed that I did not find favor with the voters at the Guyana Olympic Association AGM which was held in December 2016, where I was aiming for a position as either Assistant Secretary/Treasurer but was unable to get a place on the executive, especially after sitting as a council member since 1989. I knew I had the ability to be of great use on the GOA as proven in the last seven years getting Guyana badminton at the highest possible place in the International Circuit.”
The disappointment notwithstanding Ramdhani sought to thank those who assisted the discipline last year.
“The GBA would like to thank the National Sports Commission for allowing us to play at the National Gymnasium after we were removed from the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
“We do hope that the taped floor markings can be more permanent as we face the difficulty of replacing the tapes after every event that’s held there.
“We would also like to thank the Guyana Olympic Association for their continuous effort to help badminton and sports in general. They have made it possible for our players to attend tournaments which gave our players lots of exposure and experience and ultimately allowed them to gain higher world ranking points”.
“We will continue to have badminton at the highest level and thanks also go out to the media, sponsors, and all who supported us during the year 2016 and we look forward to your continuous support in 2017,” he ended.