Thread: 2008 XIV Pan American Game
10-16-2008, 12:21 AM #1
2008 XIV Pan American Game
extra punch with KDM training
October 16, 2008 09:15 PM
By: Mike Hayakawa
Fiona McKee acknowledged she was disappointed after failing to qualify for the ladies’ doubles badminton competition at the recent 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
But the 23-year-old Markham native recently extracted a measure of redemption.
While the next Summer Olympics do not take place until another four years, McKee atoned for her disappointment at the 2008 Pan American badminton championships in Lima, Peru.
Taking to the courts in two competitions, the Markham District High School graduate brought home two medals.
In mixed doubles, McKee joined forces with Will Milroy of Calgary to claim the gold medal with a 2-1 (21-12, 16-21, 21-18) victory over fellow Canadians Val Loker and Toby Ng in the final.
McKee also participated in the ladies’ doubles with Loker and advanced to the final before they were defeated by the top-seeded Peruvian tandem of Claudia Rivero and Christina Aicardi 2-0 (2-19, 21-15) to claim the silver medal.
“I was hoping for two victories and I knew we had the potential to win,” McKee said upon returning to her Markham residence last week from Lima.
Shaking off the ill effects of missing the Summer Olympics after devoting her training over the past two years to trying to fulfill a lifelong Olympic dream, McKee attributed her recent bout of good fortune to a couple of changes she made off and on the court.
Conducting her training largely in Calgary, McKee elected to move to a new training centre known as the Badminton Academy where she is coached by Kim Dong Moon, a former World and Olympic champion in men’s and mixed doubles while representing South Korea.
McKee said Moon’s tutoring has improved her game by leaps and bounds.
“I’ve been with him for about three weeks and he’s changed my game. Being a former Worlds champion in mixed and doubles, he has the skills and understanding of the game. He’s changed some of my mechanics like my footwork and grip.
“We (in Canada) do not have the technical skills. But he’s given me the tools with how hard I have to work and to be more efficient. Every day in working with him is exciting,” she said of her association with Moon.
On the court, McKee formed partnerships with two new players she began training with in early September for ladies and mixed doubles play.
While McKee has known Milroy and Loker for a long time, their individual strengths compliment what she brings to the table.
The results were evident from the Pan American championships as the gold won by McKee and Milroy marked their debut as a tandem. The silver McKee won with Loker represented just the second time they’ve played as a team.
“Val (Loker) is one of the top doubles players in Canada and she’s a tall, powerful girl and I’m shorter and faster.
“I’m good at the net and she’s good at the back. We each compliment each other with our strengths,” McKee said of the Montreal native.
“Will and I train together in Calgary and he’s one of the top Canadian players. He’s the best I could play with in mixed doubles since he’s a bit older than I am and he knows how to get me going and when I have to settle down.
“He definitely brings the best out of me on the court,” she said of Milroy.
Looking to the future, McKee said she will be playing alongside Milroy and Loker at the Scottish and Welsh Opens in November.
These events, she said, will serve as a tuneup for their next big goal, the Commonwealth Games in two years time in New Delhi, India.
For now though, McKee is happy with her recent bout of good fortune.
“I was bummed out after missing the Olympics,” she said.
“It was exciting in my life for the last two years to work towards trying to make the Olympics.
“Not making it was disappointing.
“But winning the gold and silver at the Pan American championships represents a way to move on from my old partnerships and I’m looking forward to new things with my new partners,” she said.
Last edited by cooler; 10-16-2008 at 12:25 AM.
10-16-2008, 12:30 AM #2
in MS david snider win the title
david snider(4) beat kevin cordon(1) in the SF in 3 sets
david snider(4) beat Stephan wojcikiewicz (2) in the final in 2 sets
Claudia RIVERO wins the WS title
will milroy & toby ng win the MD title
Last edited by cooler; 10-16-2008 at 12:33 AM.
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