ORONO — Bar Harbor residents Nishi Rajakaruna and Line Rechholtz were the winners Saturday at the Maine State Badminton Championship held at the University of Maine (UMO). They defeated Richard Garant of Bangor and Randy Smith of UMO 21-10, 21-14 for the doubles championship. Rajakaruna defeated Kent Seneres of UMO 21-13, 21-16 in singles finals.
The tournament was organized by the National Society of Black Engineers University of Maine Chapter. Ten players who practice at the Mount Desert Island YMCA participated. “The games were very competitive, and all of us had a wonderful time,” Rajakaruna said.
He thanked the YMCA for supporting the badminton players with practice space and hosting tournaments and said badminton is a fast-growing sport in Maine. “We have people coming all the way from Bangor to train with us,” he said.
Two high school students, Gabe Michael-Childs and Taki Ishimura, were part of the MDI contingent at the tournament. “They did well playing against much older, well-trained players,” Rajakaruna said.
Adult pick-up badminton is held Tuesday and Friday mornings at the YMCA from 10-11:30 a.m. and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Badminton is free for YMCA members and $10 (day fee) for non-members. All levels are welcome.