PAN AM GAMES – Birthday girl Grace Gao in two semis

Canada’s Grace Gao celebrated her birthday by winning both of her quarter-final matches to become one of eight players to figure in two semi-finals at the Pan Am Games in […]

Canada’s Grace Gao celebrated her birthday by winning both of her quarter-final matches to become one of eight players to figure in two semi-finals at the in Guadalajara, Mexico on Tuesday.

Gao’s women’s doubles partner Joycelyn Ko, was another, as was Michelle Li, who will be hoping to face Ko in both the singles and doubles finals.  For the United States team, all four mixed doubles semi-finalists – Howard Bach /  Paula Lynn Obanana and Halim Haryanto Ho and 2007 triple-gold medallist Eva Lee – will all be playing level doubles as well.  Grace Gao won two Pan Am Championship titles last year, and she is back as the top seed this year in mixed doubles with Toby Ng.

Defending Pan Am men’s singles champion Stefan Wojcikiewicz was upset in the quarter-finals, however, meaning that Canada’s chances of a golden sweep have been dashed even before their men’s doubles pair of Derrick Ng / Adrian Liu face any of the U.S.A. team’s three former World Champions.   The Canadian was edged out 10-21, 22-20, 21-18 by Cuba’s Osleni Guerrero, who lost in the first round at last year’s Pan Am championships but this year will be the representative of the northernmost country among the men’s singles semi-finalists.  He takes on Jamaica’s Charles Pyne, while top seed Kevin Cordon is to face Daniel Paiola of Brazil.

Peru, often a major force in Pan American badminton, will rely twice on Claudia Rivero, as she is in the final four in women’s singles and mixed doubles.

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Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @ badzine.net