Team Ontario’s 2019 Canada Games developmental team won the Ridgeback University Challenge 2018. The tournament was held this past weekend at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa. The team competing consisted of 12 athletes: Sharon Au, Rachel Chan, Jacqueline Cheung, Darren Choi, Philip Choi, Stanley Feng, Colin Jai, Victor Lai, Joseph Lu, Aditi Mahajan, Siddhi Mahajan and Sophia Nong.
Jennifer Lee, the coach of the 2019 Canada Winter Games team commented, “as part of the Winter Game Ontario selection criteria for our badminton team, we participated at the Ridgeback University Challenge this past weekend. It was 2 long days of competition, starting from 7:30 in the morning till 8 pm at night”.
Lee stressed the importance of competing in tournaments, “another purpose of participating in this event is to experience what it is like to compete as a team. What it takes to do it well and the commitment required. I am proud to say that all athletes who participated gained good experience and delivered what they promised”.
Coach Lee also had further observations during the weekend, including “our players are considerably younger than their opponents, yet their on-court performance was right on, there was no “stage fright”.
The team showed multiple flashes of brilliance including in the first round of the team event, where they defeated the University of Waterloo team 3-2. According to Coach Lee, this was the strongest team entering the tournament and “Joseph and Sophia did an excellent job at the mixed doubles third game, winning 24-22”.
The tournament’s organization was also praised by Coach Lee, “the event was organized very well, I never expected any less from Wayne King, who is our manager for the Winter Games”.
Participating in a tournament style event allowed the team to build experience before the 2019 Canada Winter Games. Coach Lee stressed, “everyone worked together very well and demonstrated what is the foundation of a team event, that is the team spirit. It was a great experience and a great “dry run” for the team to experience this kind of competition”.
The youngest player on the team, Victor Lai, was named by Coach Lee as having the most remarkable performance on the team. Lai was chosen because he demonstrated extreme discipline and was able to perform his best on the court.
Individual results can be checked at : http://www.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/tournament.aspx?id=3EDC5972-992A-44DE-A24C-F6BBBBC731CA?
Team Ontario won the team event at the last two Canada Winter Games in 2011 and 2015 held in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Prince George, British Columbia respectively.
The 2019 Canada Games team selection will take place in January 2019. The 2019 Canada Winter Games will be held in Red Deer, Alberta from February 15th to March 3rd. Badminton will be held during the second week of competition at the newly built Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.
For more information on the 2019 Canada Games, please visit the official website of the event here.
For more information please contact:
Jean Wong, Technical Director