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Dasent: We were just not good enough
"We were just not good enough," national badminton coach Daron Dasent said after the country's women's team finished fifth and men's team last, at the just concluded Male and Female Continental Badminton Championships at the National Racquet Centre in Tacarigua.
"It's as simple as that. The preparation was not sufficient and I hope the T&T Badminton Association sees what is required for us to play at that level," Dasent said.
He has had to work with players chosen by the selection committee and not him, and according to Dasent there were a few other players who should have been on the team to challenge the others but they were not selected.
He believes the time for national coaches not having a hand in selecting teams to represent the country should be a thing of the past, noting it will require an amendment in the constitution of the sport for this to happen.
The T&T Badminton Association (TTBA) is currently being scrutinised by Dutch High Performance coach Martiin van Dooremalen, whose intention is to direct the TTBA on ways to improve the sport and make it competitive on the international stage.
Guardian Media Sports learnt that the replacement of the selection committee will be one of many key recommendations to be made by the Dutchman.
The T&T men's team got off to a losing start when number one ranked Nicholas Bonkowsky received an injury to the small finger on his left hand and was beaten on the opening day. The result had set the path for a string of losses by the other players, both men and women.
But the bright sparks came from the fighting spirit showed by the players, Dasent believes, saying the players did their best but were just not good enough for the high level of badminton played by the other countries. This fighting spirit led to the team's lone victory, coming from junior player Renaldo Sinanan who defeated American Ryan Chew 2-1 late on the opening day.
"It was a good experience for our players. Some of them are juniors and the others are all working professionals but they got the opportunity to play against some of the best players and they took it. It was just the self belief that they needed," Dasent said.
Yesterday, badminton association president Rahul Rampersad refused to comment on the team's performances and the tournament and instead directed all questions to Public Relations Officer (PRO) Susan Maharaj.
Like Dasent, Maharaj said the tournament served well for the country as it provided an opportunity for much needed experience for the players.
She said, "We were able to get a team together, in spite of the fact that they were not at the same level as the other countries, but the players got the chance to be exposed to international competition."
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