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Discussion in '2006 Tournaments' started by dex, Feb 3, 2006.
anyone has any update results? the draw is awfully small!
Yukon? Is there where the polar bear play badminton????
hopefully they didn't get snow in!
Spectators enjoy top-notch badminton
By ECHO ROSS
If this past week was any indication, Whitehorse should do a fine job in hosting the 2007 Canada Winter Games, at least as far as badminton is concerned.
The flexi-hall at the Canada Games Centre played host to 28 of the best men’s and women’s players Canada has to offer in the YONEX senior national championships, with both singles and doubles action on display for the local spectators.
The action didn’t disappoint, as most of the spectators – including Whitehorse Mayor Ernie Bourassa – looked on in awe at the calibre of badminton they were witnessing, and the facilities and hospitality certainly didn’t disappoint the athletes either.
“Everything has been great,” stated Charmaine Reid, the eventual women’s singles champion and women’s doubles champion with partner Helen Nichol. “It’s so beautiful and the people are very friendly. We had a chance to go dogsledding a few days ago.
“The whole facility is amazing. You’re lucky to have such a great facility. I come from Fort Erie (Ontario). I would have loved to have something like this growing up.”
Reid, who was billeted by local squash player Janet Lee and her family, plays out of the National Elite Training Centre in Calgary. While she had never been to the Yukon before, she has been to Nunavut twice to hold badminton clinics.
She said clinics play an important role in expanding the sport in North America, especially Canada, where badminton athletes see limited funding and attention from the federal government – while she does gets some help from sponsors, all of Reid’s trips during the season are self-funded.
It can be tough to get the money together, she said, but when you walk away with two nationals championships, it’s all worth it. She and men’s athlete Mike Beres were the only two players to claim double gold.
Reid came in as the second seed in singles and first seed in doubles. In the women’s singles final, she was up against top-ranked Anna Rice of Ontario and pulled out the victory in two games, 11-9 and 13-10.
“Last time I played her, it was the same thing, really physical, long rallies,” said Reid. “The shuttle won’t hit the ground when we’re playing each other.”
Florence Lavoie and Sarah Macmaster were third and fourth in the women’s action.
Reid and Nichol, who also won the doubles title last year and represented Canada at the 2004 Olympic Games, took on the number-two team of Tammy Sun and Lyndsay Smith in an entertaining final.
Reid and Nichol won it in two games, 15-10, 17-16.
“We knew it was going to be tough,” said Reid of the doubles match. “After the first game, we kind of stepped back a little bit and let them get a bit of a lead. We needed to get back our own pace to take over again and we did. We just have to be confident playing our game.”
Reid and Nichol will now prepare for the Uber Cup, a women’s team event in in Peru (the Canadian men will head to the Thomas Cup, also in Peru), before heading to the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia next month.
Two of the Canadian athletes who will join them at the Games are Beres and his mixed doubles partner, Valerie Loker, who train out of Ottawa.
Beres and Loker claimed the mixed title Saturday in a bit of an upset, downing the number-one ranked duo of Will Milroy and Tammy Sun from Alberta in two hard-fought games, 17-14, 15-12.
“We had, I think, the perfect game today,” said Beres. “And more importantly than that, the best communication we’re had since playing together (their first competition together was last March).”
“We just knew they were probably going to be tough, so we had to control the match the whole way through, be aggressive,” added Loker.
Beres said he and Loker watched Milroy and Sun in the semifinals Friday, where they were down 12-3 in the third game and came from behind to win it. He knew he and Loker had to stick to their game plan and not make the same mistake that Philippe Bourret and Nichol did.
“There’s a big difference between not trying to make mistakes (during the game) and trying to win,” said Beres. “(Saturday), we were trying to win. We didn’t want to give them easy points or any extra rallies. I think everything just went perfectly (Saturday).”
“It was just a matter of playing point by point,” agreed Loker.
Beres admitted it took a lot of refocusing on their part in the final, especially during the last game. He said it was mentally tough to play Milroy and Sun as well as physically tough. The new mixed doubles champions know all too well what their competitors are capable of.
“There’s a reason they had won three in a row and we were aware of that.”
In fact, Beres plays men’s doubles with Milroy on a regular basis – including the nationals this past week – and Loker will partner with Sun for the Commonwealth Games.
“We were actually playing against our partners today, so hopefully, we’ll still like each other,” Beres laughed. “I’m actually in the men’s doubles final with Will.
“I’ll have to suck up to him in order to win, but I’m willing to do it,” he jokingly added.
Whatever Beres said to Milroy, it worked. The duo went on to win the men’s doubles crown in the last event Saturday, out hustling Bourret and Mathieu Laforest 15-5, 15-13.
Kyle Foley and Brody Hilland, and Alvin Lau and Toby Ng were third and fourth.
The men’s singles final was a showdown between top seed Bobby Milroy of Alberta and number two Andrew Dabeka of Ottawa. Dabeka, who fellow athlete Stephan Wojcikiewicz described as “the animal”, was dead-on Saturday, dominating Milroy 15-2 and 15-3 to claim the championship.
Wojcikiewicz and Kyle Foley finished third and fourth in men’s action.
The lone Yukoner in the national competition, Jean Francois Roldan, went up against Ottawa’s Kyle Hunter in the preliminary round last Wednesday, falling in two games, 15-3 and 15-1.
The 2006 YONEX nationals were the first of many Canada Games test events planned for Whitehorse over the next year.
March will begin with the 2006 Freestyle Skiing Canadian Junior Championships, which will be held at Mount Sima, followed by the B.C. midget AA provincial hockey championships.
Also in March, the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club will host the 2006 Northwestel Western Canada Championships on the newly-upgraded trails at Mount McIntyre.
nice report! Thx Cooler!
ah too bad Bouret and Laforest didn't wint
is laforest still playing MS?
i believe he is still playing singles but not that much.