July 10th, 2015, Toronto, Canada – Trinidad and Tobago will kick off its medal hunt at the 2015 Pan AM games today Saturday July 11th with men’s Badminton and Women’s football. National men’s badminton champ Nicolas Bonkowsky will face American, Sattawat Pongnairat, the #4 seed at the Markham Pan AM Centre at 12:30PM, while the women warriors will face Argentina at 2:05PM in their opening game at Hamilton Pan Am Soccer stadium.
Bonkowsky enters this year’s tournament ranked as the reigning national men’s badminton champion, having placed second in both the doubles and mixed doubles event. Writing on his badminton blog, Bonkowsky credits former national badminton champ Anil Seepaul as one of the most influential people in his career, despite defeating the veteran singles player to win his first national title.
While Bonkowsky expects a stern test from the #4 seeded Pongnairat, Manager Ronald Clarke says he remains undaunted and plans to give it his all, as he hopes to one day represent Trinidad and Tobago at the Olympics.
Despite a threatned boycott from the women warriors prior to this year’s games, the team will be keen to do well having just missed out on qualifying for the women’s world cup in December last year. Defender Arin King tweeted early on Friday that “Practice was bess” suggesting the team is in good spirits ahead of tomorrow’s opener.
Prior to the teams departure, Coach Ross Russell was quoted saying, “The confidence level of our girls is high because they want to play these kind of teams.”