AROUND ten players ranked in the top 100 in the world have entered the inaugural Trinidad and Tobago International Badminton Tournament next month.
Players from 22 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Cuba, Czech Republic, Israel, Jamaica, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Sweden, Turkey, United States and T&T will be doing battle from May 20-25 at Easter Regional Sports Arena, Tacarigua.
The tournament is sanctioned by the world’s governing body, Badminton World Federation and the players will be battling for US$5,000, sponsored by the Pan American Badminton Confederation.
Canadian Nickolas Bonkowsky, whose mother hails from Trinidad, and five-time national champion Anil Seepaul will be among those flying the red, white and black flag.
Bonkowsky defeated Seepaul in the final of the National Championships last month.
The women’s field is expected to include Solangel Guzman, who has been residing here for over four years and missed “Nationals” after capturing triple crowns in the three previous editions.
The Cuban struck gold for her country of birth in the 2006 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games and for T&T last year in the Caribbean Championships.
The Mexican who won the women’s singles and doubles titles in last year’s CAC Games at home and the Cuban who struck gold in men’s singles in the Pan Am Games in Canada last year are also expected to be in the star-studded field.
The only previous international badminton tournament ever staged in this country took place over a decade ago at Jean Pierre Complex, Wrightson Road, Woodbrook.