UTM had a strong showing at the OCAA badminton championships at Seneca College on February 19-20, with two teams competing this year.
The UTM women’s doubles team, Kristie Fan and Holly Wong, put in a good effort but didn’t have enough to push them into the elimination rounds.
UTM’s Yue Chen captured the bronze medal over Humber’s Jonathan Young in three sets 22-20, 11-21, 21-18.
Earlier in the month, UTM hosted the OCAA West Regional badminton tournament on February 5-6, where members from several schools filled the RAWC trying to rally their way through the competition to qualify for the championships.
The UTM Varsity Eagles squad is in their second year of competition and doing well. After failing to qualify for the provincials last year, they are pleased with what they accomplished this year.
This year, the program had nine male athletes and four female athletes, plus two coaches. They practiced every Tuesday and Thursday, working on skill and conditioning to make some noise in the OCAA.
There were some exceptional performances by UTM athletes this year,.Men’s singles athlete Yue Chen was a silver medalist at the OCAA regionals. On the women’s doubles team, Kristie Fan and Holly Wong advanced to this year’s OCAA provincial championships. David Zheng finished in third place in his pool at the West regional tournament. Unfortunately, Zheng and Chen had to play one another in the quarterfinals match, allowing only one of UTM’s athletes to go through to the next round.
Head coach Lam Trinh, former Canadian Collegiate Athletic Associate Coach of the Year in 2010 and two-time OCAA Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2011, is very pleased with UTM’s success this year.
“Work hard and play smart, there is always room for improvement, you are your biggest competition, every day is a learning curve, and be proactive and never give up,” says Trinh, speaking about the motivation his athletes bring into every single practice and match. Badminton is both a physically and mentally demanding sport; your hand-eye coordination and agility have to be exceptional to compete against other members playing within the OCAA.
Humber College dominated the regional tournament, placing first in men’s doubles, mixed doubles, and women’s singles.