March 18, 2016 / Badminton Ontario
Ontario athletes ensure winter season success in the wake of Nationals
With the spring equinox due to arrive this Saturday, Badminton Ontario would like to take time to reflect on one of our province’s most successful winter seasons. On the heels of the 2016 Yonex Canadian Senior Badminton Nationals in Manitoba last month, the organization would like to acknowledge the Ontario gold medalists who triumphed in Winnipeg, while simultaneously helping to further shine a light on the sport.
Easily accessible from all corners of the nation, the Winnipeg Winter Club proudly hosted last month’s 2016 Yonex Canadian Senior Badminton Nationals, which ran from February 3rd to 6th. Broadcast live, thanks to a CBC webcast, the on-court action proved to be both impressive and compelling.
Final results remain posted for you here. On the heels of Sr. Nationals, Badminton Ontario would like to congratulate the province’s gold medalists, listed for you below alphabetically.
Along with partner Toby Ng (of BC), Alex won gold in Mixed Doubles at this year’s Senior Nationals. A recent graduate of Western University, she now has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Structural Engineering. Coached by Andrew Dabeka, a heavier week on the court typically means Alex will spend up to 18 hours training. Born in Toronto, she now calls Ottawa home (which would make the RA Badminton Centre her home away from home), and supplements her on-court training with running, indoor cycling, and weights for strength training. With less than two months remaining in the Olympic qualifying period, Alex knows full-well that May looms large. And while the road to Rio might otherwise be paved with good intentions, this is one athlete who recognizes that her route must also include hard work, determination, and sacrifice.
Dubbed “The Golden Girls” by friends and fans following their gold medal win at Nationals in Women’s Doubles last month, Rachel Honderich and her WD partner, Michelle Li, were thrilled with their victory. Rachel, currently a University of Toronto student, has her sights firmly set on becoming a chiropractor one day. She spoke with Badminton Ontario candidly about her workouts both on and off the court this year, while trying to balance a full University workload, claiming she’s had to learn to be more resourceful with her training sessions now that her residence isn’t as close to Lee’s Badminton Centre, where she trains. While a day off might include sleeping in and a good meal out (Italian or Japanese are both favourites!), Rachel also recognizes the importance of maintaining her focus and concentration on upcoming tournaments, like the 2016 Yonex College/University National Championships later this month in Laval, Quebec. With the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo listed as just one of her many long-term goals, Rachel is officially proving to the world that you can’t put a limit on anything.
In his final year of high school, with his sights set on University and the technology field, Jason Ho-Shue manages to balance his studies with ten hours of training per week with more finesse than the average teen. Coached by E Badminton’s Efendi Wijaya, Jason feels well supported both on the court and off. Not too long ago, Ho-Shue set a target to win a senior National Championship title. Last month, at just 17, the Markham, Ontario teen became the youngest senior champion in Canadian history. Consistently described as having explosiveness and speed, Ho-Shue points to tenacity and perseverance as the main ingredients to his success. Frequently expressive, Ho-Shue described the moments that would lead him to his first senior national title in Winnipeg last month, claiming he knew early on that he was going to have to ‘be a fighter’. What Jason did not know was that his coach’s father would pass away the night before the finals. “I played my best for my coach to make him proud,” Ho-Shue shared with Badminton Ontario’s Sarah Miller, proving once again that this teen and his determination are one.
She is currently seeded No. 15 in the world, and is Canada's highest ranked badminton player. Last month at the Winnipeg Winter Club, Michelle Li won her sixth national title in singles, while also bringing home gold in Women’s Doubles, with partner Rachel Honderich. Yoga sessions, forced relaxation, massage therapy and physio take up much of this Olympian’s free time, which is limited given the 25-30 hours each week she spends training with her coach, Jennifer Lee. She chats openly and happily about the simple things in life that bring her pleasure, like her favourite breakfast. “Toast with peanut butter, yogurt, eggs, sausage, beans. I eat a lot,” Li says candidly. Michelle, who has risen through the ranks earnestly, is clearly bound for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio. Given that no Canadian has ever won a women's singles title at the Commonwealth Games, something Li did in Glasgow in 2014, this Markham, Ontario athlete officially has the nation at her back. As she sets her sights on the Games this summer in Brazil, and the upcoming tournaments that will help in her trajectory to get her there, the world knows this athlete is on a collision course with success.
Suffice it to say, Ontario’s gold medal athletes ensured that the 2015/16 winter season was a smashing success.
Badminton Ontario (BON) is a not for profit amateur sport organization responsible for badminton within the province of Ontario. Badminton Ontario's vision is to connect with all athletes participating in badminton in Ontario, inspire athletes to cherish badminton and establish it as their sport for life.
For more information contact: Sarah Miller, Badminton Ontario, cell (905) 749-0361 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org