TRINIDAD and Tobago will be led by a Canadian when the senior team events of the Caribbean Regional Badminton Championships (CAREBACO) serve off today in the Dominican Republic.
Nicholas Bonkowsky, a Canadian whose mother hails from this country, is the key member of the team, which also consists of Alistair Espinoza, Leanna Castanada, Avril Plaza and Jason Ramjass.
However 2006 CAC (Central America and the Caribbean) Games gold-medallist Solangel Guzman is not on the team.
Cuba-born Guzman has been living over here for over four years, but is still in the process of becoming a citizen and can only represent the country in individual events.
Guzman, who is coaching the team, struck gold in women’s singles in last year’s edition of this tournament and will be defending her title from Wednesday.
Bonkowsky, who was crowned national champion in only his third tournament here a few months ago, was this country’s only badminton representative in the Pan American Games in Canada last month.
Espinoza picked up a bronze medal in doubles in this tournament last year, while Castanada, who returned from “Nationals” after being out of action for about a year, Plaza and Ramjass are also former national junior champs.
Each fixture will consist of five matches – men’s and women’s singles and doubles as well as a mixed doubles encounter.
The individual events, which also include Under-11, 13, 15 and 17 categories, will be contested from Wednesday until Saturday and T&T will also be represented in all four junior disciplines.
All six T&T players – Will Lee, Adrian Nicholson, Renaldo Sinanan, Jada Renales, Brittney Mohammed and Ralitsa Wong – were bundled out early in the Under-19 events, which served off last Wednesday.