Lee eyes easy Badminton ‘Nationals’

Shuttle Force duo of Will Lee, left and Chequeda Deboulet, both of whom will be favourites going into the Badminton Nationals Walter Alibey

‘Ready but not ready’ is ex­act­ly how Will Lee, the coun­try’s top Men’s bad­minton play­er feels go­ing in­to the Na­tion­al Bad­minton Cham­pi­onships ‘Na­tion­als’ from March 18-22 at the Na­tion­al Rac­quet Cen­tre in Or­ange Grove, Tacarigua.
His dom­i­nance stems from his triple crown suc­cess at the So­lo Na­tion­als where he claimed the men’s sin­gles, men’s dou­bles and mixed dou­bles last year, to add to his sin­gles and men’s dou­bles ti­tles at the Bad­minton Na­tion­als for the same year.

Yes­ter­day, Lee, the Shut­tle Force stand­out said the lev­el of com­pe­ti­tion ex­pect­ed has been a de­mo­ti­va­tor for him. Be­cause of this, he told Guardian Me­dia Sports that al­though he has been in train­ing, he has not been putting out the amount of work that he wants to. “I have on­ly been putting in enough work to seal my ti­tles, but I am not en­cour­aged to do more be­cause there aren’t many play­ers to com­pete with.”
Not sur­pris­ing, Lee’s tough­est chal­lenger would have been his Shut­tle Force team­mate Al­is­tair Es­pinoza who dom­i­nat­ed among the men for the past few years be­fore hav­ing to give way to Lee.
How­ev­er, Es­pinoza, will not con­test the sin­gles event, and will in­stead suit-up for the men’s dou­bles along­side Lee.
Apart from Es­pinoza, Lee said an­oth­er play­er he al­ways looked for­ward to fac­ing was Naim Mo­hammed, who is pur­su­ing his stud­ies abroad. In the sin­gles, Lee set to be up against a field that in­cludes Leon Cassie, Vance Juter­am, Amir Ma­habir, Nathaniel Khillawan, An­ge­lo Thomp­son, Bran­don Gra­ham and Joshua Smith, among oth­ers.

Lee al­so sin­gled out emerg­ing tal­ent Re­ece Mar­cano who he be­lieves will be a force to be reck­oned with in the com­ing years.
Mar­cano is ex­pect­ed to com­pete in the un­der-17 and u-19 di­vi­sions. Lee teams up with Es­pinoza for the men’s dou­bles be­fore com­bin­ing with Ja­da Re­nales, an­oth­er Shut­tle Force and na­tion­al stand­out, who re­turns to com­pe­ti­tion last year af­ter a self-im­posed hia­tus.
Re­nales who dom­i­nat­ed the women’s game some three to four years ago, re­turned with a bang in Oc­to­ber last year, when she and Lee clinched the mixed dou­bles ti­tles of the So­lo Na­tion­als.
Mean­while, Cheque­da De­boulet is like­ly to con­tin­ue her dom­i­na­tion in the women’s sin­gles and women’s dou­bles.
De­boulet who has been abroad on a much-need­ed rest pe­ri­od was ex­pect­ed to re­sume train­ing ahead of the com­pe­ti­tion. Like Lee, she will have her work cut out for her, fac­ing Anan­da Ram­s­ingh, Sha­nia Lee and Rachael Ra­goo­nanan.