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Badminton Canada – Ottawa, ON – From July 21st to the 28th, Canada welcomed countries from across the Americas to the 2017 Junior Pan American Badminton Championships. With over 250 athletes proudly representing their home nations, competition was strong and the crowd was excited as players battled to be Junior Pan Am Champions! The Markham Pan Am Centre in Ontario was home to badminton athletes, coaches, and supporters throughout the week in hosting both the Team Event and Individual Competitions.

In the Team Event, athletes collectively compete in each discipline against another country in a best of 5 series. With Canada selecting 15 of their top Junior athletes to participate in the event, Canada was primed to start the competition on top. Through two days of the
competition, Canada was undefeated in matches, winning over Peru, El Salvador, and Mexico. Heading into the Championship Final, Canada was set to play against USA for Gold.
After a series of close and tough matches, Team Canada would have to settle for Silver as they were unable to claim the 2017 Championship title, losing to USA with a score of 1-3 despite a strong performance by local, Brian Yang. Regardless of the tough loss, Canada remained optimistic leading into the Individual competition. Looking forward to the week ahead of them, Team Canada was ready to seize the next opportunity that remained in the coming days.
As the Individual Competition approached, Canada fielded the largest team of any nation with 85 athletes. Each Team Canada athlete, from age groups U11, U13, U15, U17, and U19, were provided official Team Canada clothing by Yonex which were part of the world
premiere of the 2017-18 Yonex Competition shirts. With Team Canada looking strong in our nations colors as they stepped on the court, athletes were ready to play for gold!
In the U11 age group, two of Team Canada’s youngest competitors, Matthew Yu and Liam Zhang were able to make it to the Championship Finals in Boy’s Doubles. Although they were unable to secure gold in a loss of (12-21, 16-21) to a pair from USA, both athletes displayed great effort and sportsmanship in their silver medal win. Similarly, Boy’s Doubles partners Ryan Chen and Gabriel Ching competed proudly, finishing 3/4 and winning a bronze medal for Canada. On the girl’s side, Girl’s Doubles partners Katie Lau and Lyric Su were also able to win a bronze medal by making it through to the Semi-Final.
For the U13 age group, Boy’s Singles Champion Joshua Nguyen was able to secure the first gold medal for Canada on home soil. In a tough 3-game match against USA’s Robert Shekhtman, Joshua was able to hold on to win (21-15, 17-21, 21-17), and be Canada’s first
2017 Junior Pan Am Champion of the week. Joshua’s talents also lead him to the Championship Final in Mixed Doubles with partner Jackie Dent. The pair competed hard despite losing a first close game 22-24, and were unable to comeback to play for a third game, earning them a well-deserved silver medal. Julian Lau and Natalie Nakatsui also finished on the podium with a 3/4 finish, giving Canada two medals in the Mixed Doubles Event.
A U13 Boys Doubles pair, Jeffrey Liu and Timothy Lock played hard throughout the week, landing them in the Semi-Finals. Despite a strong performance, the two were happy to finish on the podium, earning a bronze medal for Canada.
The U15 category brought on another Junior Pan Am Champion, Rachel Chan, winning the Girl’s Singles (21-14, 17-21, 21-12). With amazing matches throughout the week, Rachel was able to carry her performance though other events, winning a bronze medal with partner Ivan Li in Mixed Doubles. 
On the U15 Boys side, Victor Lai was also able to win multiple medals for Canada in both the Boy’s Singles event, and Boys Double’s with partner, Win Liao. With tough matches throughout the final days of competition, Victor was unable to reach the Championship Final, but was still proud to take home two bronze medals. Alongside Victor in the Boy’s Singles, also finishing in the 3/4 position, was fellow Canadian teammate, Minh Cheng. After a tough match in the Semi-Finals, Minh too fell short of competing in the Championship Final, but was happy to leave with bronze.
The U15 Girl’s Doubles has similar fates, partners Jeslyn Chow and Alayna Walia, as well as Jessica Cheng and Sophia Nong, were all able to reach the Semi-Final of the Individual Competition, earning them all a well-deserved bronze medal for the 3/4 finish.
The U17 age group is where Team Canada showed the most success, with Team Canada sweeping the podium in the Girls Single’s event. The Junior Pan Am Champion in the event was Markham’s own Talia Ng, edging out a very talented Eliana Zhang (21-19, 21-12). Finishing in 3/4 was Catherine Choi, who fell short in a 3-game match against Talia Ng (21-19, 10-21, 11-21). Rounding out the podium was Crystal Lai, losing to Eliana Zhang (15-21, 17-21).
Despite the loss, Crystal Lai was able to bounce back to compete in the Mixed Double’s Championship with partner Kyle To. After losing the first set (15-21), the pair was able to comeback in the second and win the third game (15-21, 21-14, 2119) to become Junior Pan Am Champions.
In the Girl’s Doubles event, it was another all Canadian Final as Catherine Choi and Talia Ng competed against teammates Jacqueline Cheung and Tiffany Too for the gold medal. It was Choi and Ng that claimed the title winning (21-6, 21-8).
The U19 category showcases the best of our young talent that are on the verge of competing in the senior category. Perhaps one of the most promising athletes is Katie Ho-Shue, earning a spot on the podium in each event. Katie finished alongside teammate Cara De Belle in the 3/4 position in Women’s Singles, earning them both a bronze medal.
In the Women’s Doubles event, Katie Ho-Shue and partner Alexandra Mocanu made it to the Championship Final, but suffered a tough loss to USA (21-15, 18-21, 19-21). Eyota Kwan and Natalie Lam, another Canadian pair, were able to secure the bronze medal by competing in the Semi-Final, and finishing 3/4 in the competition.
Putting the tough matches behind her, Katie Ho-Shue remained focused entering the Mixed Double’s event with partner Brian Yang. Also recognized as a promising athlete and fresh off a championship win in the Men’s Singles event (21-14, 21-13), Brain Yang was equally ready to take home the gold medal alongside Katie Ho-Shue. With the last match of the tournament, Katie was able to capture the gold medal that had been alluding her all week, winning (21-14, 21-11).
Finishing in the 3/4 position for the U19 Mixed Double’s were two Canadian pairs that competed with such determination throughout the week. Mathieu Morneau and partner Eliana Zhang were unable to beat winners Brian Yang and Katie Ho-Shue (21-13, 21-19), but were able to finish the tournament with bronze. Nicolas Nguyen and Alexandra Mocanu had extremely tight matches throughout the week, winning (21-14, 19-21, 24-22) in the Quarter Final, and losing (18-21, 17-21) in the Semi-final.
With some tough losses and spirited wins, the Junior Pan American Championships were full of excitement and thrill as athletes who competed throughout the weeklong competition were able to claim their spot on the podium.
“Congratulations to all the Canadian athletes and coaches on their excellent performance on home soil! It was fantastic to see the diversity of countries who participated in this tournament and who finished on the podium” said Anil Kaul, President of Badminton
“We are very proud of the results that all our Canadian athletes had at the Junior Pan Am Championships” said Jordan Bridal, High Performance Manager. “With the Government of Canada and Own the Podium placing a large focus on the Next Generation of athletes, we are excited for the potential of our Canadian badminton athletes and we are excited in playing a role in their continued success.”
“I hope this event inspires our players to aim high and continue to work hard in meeting their goals. There is still much work to be done, but I know our Canadian athletes are up for the challenge” concluded Head Coach, Mike Butler.
For a full list of 2017 Junior Pan Am Champions and medal winners, please follow the links below:
Full results of the Team Event:
Full results of Individual Event:
Check out the Badminton Canada Facebook page for over a thousand photos of Team Canada competing in action:
Mike Luck
Events & Communications Officer
Badminton Canada
700 Industrial Av, Ottawa, ON
613-569-2424 Ext: 102