Andre Padmore and Tamisha Williams are the king and queen of the 2015 Barbados Badminton Association Senior National Championship.
Padmore captured his second consecutive title last night when he delivered a stellar performance to come from behind against 2013 champion Bradley Pilgrim who took the first set 19-21 and won the next two sets 21-9 and 21-11 at the Sir Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.
In the first game the spotlight was definitely on Williams who was on the hunt for her first ever women’s senior title which she emphatically won 21-14 and 21-17 in straight sets against Sabrina Scott. Scott would rise above this defeat in the women’s single to win both the ladies and mixed doubles.
“It’s been a long time coming. I would have like to play Mariama [Eastmond] again, I guess to prove my worth and to practically showcase the improvements I have made. But all in all I feel really good,” Williams said about her performance which did not feature last year’s women’s champion Eastmond.
Williams basically ran away with the first game but Scott put up a challenge in the second set to lock the score at eight-all before the interval, but Williams managed to go up 11-8 at the break. After the interval the two were back at it and locked the game at 17. One would have thought that Scott was in with a chance but Williams with her confidence and aggression composed herself well and never looked back.
Padmore and Pilgrim have battled three consecutive years and whenever they meet it is always a nailbiting thriller. The first game was locked at 19 when Pilgrim managed to get to match point at 20-19 and eventually took that set 21-19.
The reigning champion was not about to have a repeat of 2013 when Pilgrim defeated him in straight sets. Padmore came out on fire in the penultimate set and had his opponent at 11-5 at the interval and eventually produced a gutsy 21-9 to lock the game at one-all which made for an interesting final set showdown. The 2014 champion carried his momentum into the decisive set and reached 11-9 at the interval but Pilgrim only managed two points after that as Padmore went on to blow him away 21-11.
After the game Padmore told Barbados TODAY that last night’s victory, where he captured his eight men’s title, was a special one where he had something to prove. “It is a great feeling and this one has a special feel to it because my sister and her husband are here. They have basically been supporting me from way back when and I was happy to do it while she is here.
“This year I had something to prove to come out and win this one. I didn’t want to think about the others [games] before. I just wanted to come out and focus on this one tonight. He [Pilgrim] played a really good game and I expected him to be attacking and he was attacking, unfortunately I think he had a little problem with his leg but I did not let that get into my head I just played my game and kept working.”
Padmore, who is also the men’s triple crown winner from last year, said he would have liked to defend his title but due to circumstances out of his control he was unable to.
“My mixed double partner from last year is Shari Hope and she is now the president so she has now taken a year’s leave but hopefully she will be back next year. I was playing with another lady this year, Shakeira Waithe, but unfortunately she got injured and we were not able to get past the semis.”
In the women’s doubles Scott paired with 2015 women’s junior female triple crown champion Amanda Haywood and the two brushed aside Williams and Onika Moe 21-17 and 21-12. Scott captured her second title on the night when she teamed up with Sabeel Foster and the duo won the mixed doubles in straight sets 21-19 and 21-16 against Kevin Wood who paired with Williams.
Wood also lost his second doubles when he teamed up with Andrew Clarke to play Bradley Pilgrim and Dakeil Thorpe who won 21-11 and 21-16.