JAMAICA Badminton Association (JBA) President Sheldon Townsend says the organisation is banking on Samuel Ricketts to represent the sport at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.
Ricketts was part of a four-member team that represented the country at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, recently. The other members of the team were Tahlia Richardson, Katherine Wynter, and Joel Angus.
“The team performed well above expectations,” Townsend said. “The players exceeded expectations as we had one quarter-final so definitely, they did well. Individually, they did well. And special mention to Samuel Ricketts — he did exceptionally well in both singles and double matches at the Commonwealth Games. He was our team captain and one of the captains for the Commonwealth team as well so I was very pleased with him, for sure.”
Townsend said the focus at the moment is to get Ricketts playing in as many tournaments as possible in order to earn points to boost his chances of qualifying for the Olympic Games.
“Samuel, because of his ranking right now, we are actually looking carefully at some tournaments that maybe we can get him to enter. He’s ranked 190-something in the world, so with a few tournaments under his belt he will be able to garner some more points so he could put himself in position for an Olympic candidate, as the possibility of qualifying for the Olympics for him is a little bit too high. So, we are supporting him in getting into some tournaments to garner some more points, and that is where the focus is right now.”
Townsend said the association’s next major tournament locally will be the All-Jamaica Junior and Senior Championships next month, as it looks to grow the sport on the island.
— Ruddy Allen