A 24 member Trinidad and Tobago badminton delegation arrived in Dominican Republic on Monday to begin participation at this year’s Caribbean Regional Badminton Championships (CAREBACO), which serves off with the Under-19 International Tournament today.
Altogether, six senior players and 18 juniors will battle against the region’s top opposition in a series of competitive events. In addition to the Under- 19 International, TT representatives will also go for glory in Junior and Senior Team and Individual Events. Players will gain Badminton World Federation (BWF) ranking points in all of their contested international events.
The junior squad is being led by top ranked locals Will Lee and Jada Renales who are also the respective male and female team captains and were also medal winners at the CAREBACO tournament last year. The senior team comprises of National men’s Singles champion Nicholas Bonkowsky, Alistair Espinoza, Solangel Guzman and Leanna Castanada, among others.
Guzman is also the defending women’s singles champion and is keen on retaining her title as the Caribbean badminton queen.
Bonkowsky, who is Canadian based and recently participated in the 2015 Pan American Games, is also a favourite in the medal hunt for team TT .
The national squad is being managed by president of the Trinidad and Tobago Badminton Association and junior coach Derwin Renales. Stephanie Mitchell will also join as assistant manager and junior coach, while Guzman will serve as senior head coach.
Renales remains optimistic that the 2015 crop of players can at least replicate or surpass last year’s impressive 20-medal haul, despite the many challenges that were faced along the way.
The TT BA also expressed gratitude for the support shown by the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago (NGC) and the Ministry of Sport.