What does it take to win provincials? Zhao-Yu Tan of the Woodstock Badminton Club figured out the answer to that question Saturday, May 11, 2019 as he became the Jr. C Province of Ontario Under 19 men’s singles champion.
The tournament was held at the Progress Badminton Club in Scarborough, Ontario where 129 of Ontario’s top badminton athletes met to compete for provincial titles. Woodstock had five (5) players competing from their High Performance squad and had a strong showing from Tyler Atkinson who made it to the quarter finals, Braden Doucette who fought his way through the consolation side eventually losing in the semi-finals, and Will Waters and Ben Cougler who competed in both singles and boys doubles.
But the day unquestionably belonged to Zhao-Yu who, from the start of his first match, looked like a man on a mission. Zhao-Yu kept his opponents off balance with a mixed strategy of attack, strong defence and a finesse game which had shuttles barely scraping the tape of the net before they fell to his opponents side for the point. His smashing was fast, accurate and devastating. His footwork was flawless, giving him extreme range of movement around the court and his counter attack was timely and often indefensible by his opponents. Zhao-Yu masterfully kept his opponents guessing all day and mixed his strategy beautifully to keep them off balance.
In short, it was a dominating performance as his opponents struggled to gain more than 11 points from him in any game until the finals when the scores were 21-19 and 21-14.
Congratulations Zhao-Yu, the Woodstock Badminton Club, your coaches and teammates are very proud of you!
This is the time of year when all the hard work athletes put in during the season starts to pay off. Athletes from the Woodstock Club competed in multiple tournaments for their schools and in the Western Ontario Badminton Association (WOBA) Open this past weekend.
Kristen Anguish had an amazing week as she won the WOBA ladies singles tournament and placed second at her school’s regional qualifying tournament to earn an invitation to the Central Western Ontario Secondary School Association (CWOSSA) badminton tournament. Way to go Kristen!
Derek Neeb and Matt Wilker competed in their Thames Valley Regional Athletics (TVRA) qualifying tournament to earn a spot at the next TVRA tournament, taking place this Wednesday at Glendale High School in Tillsonburg. Neeb and Wilker, competing for two different high schools met each other in the semi-finals of men’s singles with Neeb beating Wilker in two straight. Wilker then dropped to the consolation side of the bracket, won his next match and met Neeb again in the finals, which he won in three games! In a double elimination tournament format, Wilker had to beat Neeb in two straight matches for the title and ultimately Neeb prevailed to win the title. The two athletes represented themselves, our club and their schools well and put on quite a show for the spectators.
Matt Zu and Edwin Santhosh competed in their school qualifying tournament as well, finishing first and second respectively.
All in all, a tremendous week for athletes that train as part of the Youth Program at the Woodstock Badminton Club. Way to go everyone!
What a weekend! On Friday, March 29, members of the Woodstock Badminton Club High Performance Team travelled to Leamington to compete in their 6th Annual Junior Singles Tournament for grades 6 through 12. Players were divided into 6 divisions (3 for boys and 3 for girls) depending on grade level. Woodstock entered athletes in 4 divisions with tremendous results as per below:
Will, Braeden and Kristen all fought through strong junior fields to reach the finals with amazing results. While adversity met them along the way, Woodstock’s High Performance Team carried themselves with professionalism and dignity to achieve their well-deserved results.
Other notable performances were turned in by Ben Cougler who earned a Bronze medal after meeting Woodstock’s Will Waters in the semi-finals, and Derek Neeb who made it to the semi-finals of the top flight only to be hampered by a nagging calf injury – eventually losing to a player he had beaten in an earlier round. Derek’s gutsy performance in spite of his injury was a testament to his strength of character and resolve.
Accolades aside, I honestly couldn’t be prouder of all of our athletes. Zhao-Yu Tan, Jake Rahn, Mariam Hassan, Matt Wilker all played well but it is perhaps the sportsmanship they all exhibit which makes me the proudest. If a call is close to the line they give it to their opponent, they always shake hands and congratulate their opponents for good shots. As well, they support each other through defeat and through adversity. These are the life skills that are more important than their badminton skills, and it is for this reason that I am extremely proud of all of them. Way to go everyone!