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Ten talented Canadian badminton players named to Santiago 2023 team

TORONTO (September 22, 2023) – Badminton Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced Canada’s badminton team nominated to compete at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.

The Team Canada badminton team for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games is:

Athletes
Rachel Chan (Markham, Ont.)
Catherine Choi (Markham, Ont.)

Adam Dong (Burlington, Ont.)
Kevin Lee (Winnipeg, Man.)
Ty Lindeman (St. Albert, Alta.)
Josephine Wu (Edmonton, Alta.)
Nyl Yakura (Pickering, Ont.)
Brian Yang (Richmond Hill, Ont.)
Eliana Zhang (Montreal, Que.)
Wendy Zhang (Richmond, B.C.)

The athletes qualified for Team Canada based on points accumulated from results during the September 1, 2022 to August 30, 2023 qualification period. Similar to Tokyo 2020, for which Team Canada qualified its largest-ever Olympic badminton team, a full quota of five women and five men have qualified for Santiago 2023 — larger than the Canadian team sent to the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.

Brian Yang will make his second Pan Am Games appearance. The current top-ranked men’s player in the Americas won silver in men’s singles at Lima 2019. Yang revels in representing Team Canada at major Games. At the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, Yang won gold in the mixed team relay event. He made his Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 as the youngest member of Canada’s badminton team. Later that year, Yang was named Team Canada’s co-flag bearer for the Cali 2021 Junior Pan American Games Opening Ceremony. He went on to win gold in both the men’s singles and the mixed doubles event with teammate Rachel Chan, who also won gold in women’s singles.

At Cali 2021, the inaugural Junior Pan Am Games, Canada dominated the field, winning gold in all three events on the program. The gold medals in the singles events earned Yang and Chan direct qualifications to Santiago 2023.

“I’m always grateful to have the opportunity to represent Canada at another major Games,” said Yang. “This time I’m even more excited because I get the chance to go the full distance after falling just short in the last Pan Am Games. Winning the Pan Am Games is definitely a goal of mine, and hopefully my experiences these last four years can help me achieve it.”

Josephine Wu, who won the gold medal in mixed doubles with former partner Joshua Hurlburt-Yu at Lima 2019, will return to the Pan Am Games with hopes of defending her title, this time with Ty Lindeman. Wu and Lindeman won the gold medal in mixed doubles at the 2022 Pan Am Championships before taking silver in 2023.

“I am so honoured to be selected for my second Pan Am Games,” said Wu. “I am most excited to be competing in another multi-sport event. There’s just something special about being a part of such a large scale event. Definitely looking forward to representing Canada again and hopefully earn a medal!”

The Canadian badminton team is coming off a historic five gold medals at the 2023 Pan Am Individual Championships and is looking to replicate the medal haul at Santiago 2023. Team Canada hopes to continue the momentum and build towards the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Santiago 2023 does not offer direct qualification to Paris, but athletes do earn valuable points for the Badminton World Federation World Ranking that will be used for Olympic qualification.

“The Pan Am Games are a great opportunity for our athletes on their path to Paris 2024 with the Games being one of the qualifying events for Olympic qualification,” explained Mike Butler, the national team head coach. “This is also a chance for badminton to gain exposure through a multi-sport Games, and with the success that we had at Lima 2019, we have high hopes for our team. We are missing our veterans Michelle Li, Rachel Honderich and Kristen Tsai, in recovery from previous injuries, but we have great faith in our team and are pleased to welcome team members who will be experiencing their first major multi-sport Games.”

Badminton has been part of the Pan American Games program since Mar del Plata 1995. Canada currently holds the record for the most Pan American Games medals won in badminton, including a total of 21 gold medals.

Badminton will take place October 21 to October 25 (Days 1 to 5) at the Centro de Entrenamiento Olímpico. 

“Welcome to the court of badminton at the Pan Am Games, where shuttlecocks fly like shooting stars! Let’s volley our way into the spotlight, serve up a match to remember, and make these Games a smashing success,” said Christine Girard, Team Canada’s Santiago 2023 Chef de Mission. 

Team Canada’s badminton team coaches and support staff for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games are:

Coaches
Mike Butler (Saint-John, N.B.)- National Team Head Coach
Mario Santoso (Jakarta, Indonesia) – Coach

Support Staff
Mike Luck (Montreal, Que.) – High Performance Manager
Amie Lee  (Halifax, N.S.) – Team Physiotherapist

Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organisations.

The latest Team Canada Santiago 2023 roster can be found here.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Maxine Gauthier, Communications and Programs Officer
Badminton Canada
T: 613-518-1501 ext. 2080
E: mgauthier@badminton.ca 

Tara MacBournie, Team Canada Santiago 2023 Sport Communications Lead
Canadian Olympic Committee
C: 647-522-8328
E: tmacbournie@olympic.ca

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