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Freshman Democratic Legis. Monica Martinez outplayed Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Amityville) with a forceful overhead serve as officials showed their stuff Monday during the formal announcement that Suffolk County Community College's Brentwood campus will host the $120,000 U.S. Open Badminton Championship.
The Brentwood lawmaker, in whose district the event will be held July 8-13, not only whacked the shuttlecock but also played in spike heels. Lawmakers and college president Shaun McKay tried their hands at it before professionals put on a more intense exhibition in singles and doubles.
Local officials welcomed executives of the Open’s tournament committee with hopes of generating $400,000 in revenue and a long-term relationship with the event, which for the last 18 years has been held in California.
Although the event was bipartisan, new GOP freshman lawmakers Kevin McCaffrey and Rob Trotta suggested a Republican vs. Democratic match as a warm-up for the championship, an idea tourney officials embraced.
Gregory acknowledged, “Badminton is not my forte,” but added, when the event begins, “I’ll be out there cheering.”