Indian player Karan Rajan Rajarajan remained on course to win the Carebaco Open as he easily disposed of Jose Guevara 21-11 21-10 to book his place in the finals against the No.2 seed Kevin Cordon at the National Racquet Centre, Tacarigua, Thursday. Rajarajan’s rise through the badminton world rankings has been impressive this year. Currently living and training in Denmark, he noted that it was the mental aspect of his game that has been the impetus for his improved performances in 2017. There were times in the past he noted, that he would lose close matches but has since turned that trend around with a more confident approach to his game. Rajarajan has made many sacrifices as he seeks to break into the top 16 in the world and earn a place on a very competitive Indian team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
His regimen includes training twice per day, six days per week for between four to six hours per day. He cites the quality training he receives in Denmark as the reason for his move from India within the last year. This ambitious 20 year old business student has hopes of breaking into the top 100 in the world by end of the year.
Jamaican Samuel O’Brien Ricketts competed in three semifinal matches Thursday night and advanced to one final. The determined Jamaican came up against a veteran of the game Kevin Cordon. After an easy first set win for Cordon, Ricketts, buoyed by the crowd, upped his game and left a clearly frustrated Cordon working harder than he might have expected against his less celebrated opponent. At one point banging his racquet on the court in frustration, Cordon eventually won the second set, taking the match 21-12 21-19. Ricketts would have a similar result in the mixed doubles as he, along with his partner Katherine Wynter, could not get past the No. 4 seeds lost to the Bruno Barrueto Deza and Ines Castillo as they lost in a tough three-set match, 18-21 21-15 21-18. He progressed in the men’s doubles however with a 13-21 21-19 21-8 victory over fellow Jamaicans Denis Coke and Anthony Mcnee.
The top seeds in the women’s draw remained on course to meet in the finals as American Jamie Subandhi had her toughest match to date as she defeated Peruvian Fernanda Saponara Rivva, 21-11 23-21. No. 4 Daniela Macias had a much tougher time against her compatriot Paula La Torre Regal. The players, who clearly knew each other’s game well, traded points in the first set with the fourth seed losing 24-22. She regained her composure player and pulled back the match in a hard fought second set, 21-19. Macias went on to take the match 22-24 21-19 21-11.
The Women’s Doubles will see Peru vying for gold against the Dominican Republic. The Peruvian pair of Nishimura and Macias was too strong for the American duo of Lee and Lee, defeating them 21-11 21-16. The Barbadians Riviera and Williams gave a good account in the first set losing out to Jimenez and Sanchez from the Dominican Republic 20-22. The second set proved to be an anticlimax as too many errors crept into the Bajan game and they lost the match 22-20 21-14.
The Men’s Doubles will pit Ricketts and Henry against the Americans Phillip Chew and Ryan Chew as the Americans had an easy win against Fanus/Thorpe (Barbados) 21-9 21-8. In the final matches of the night two Peruvian mixed doubles pairs defeated their semifinal opponents to reach last night’s final. Daniel la Torre Regal and Danica Nishimura faced Barruetto Deza and Castillo for the rights to be crowned the best mixed doubles pair in the Caribbean Regional Badminton Confederation.