PAN AM CHAMPS – 1st for Ygor, 2 for Honderich, 4 for Canada

Ygor Coelho denied home favourite Osleni Guerrero a 3rd Pan Am title, while Rachel Honderich accounted for half of Canada’s 4 title haul. By Don Hearn.  Photos: Yves Lacroix for […]

Ygor Coelho denied home favourite Osleni Guerrero a 3rd Pan Am title, while Rachel Honderich accounted for half of Canada’s 4 title haul.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (archives)

Cuba’s Osleni Guerrero (pictured) was once top gun in the Pan Am region’s men’s singles competitions.   He was in three straight continental finals, winning in 2013 and 2014.  He was top seed for the 2015 Markham Pan Am Games but was upset in the semi-finals by an in-form underdog with home court advantage.

After last year’s edition with no points was skipped by most of the hemisphere’s top shuttlers, Guerrero was keen to shine once again on his own home ground in Havana.  In Friday’s quarter-final round, the Cuban took care of Canada’s Jason Anthony Ho-Shue, who had become champion last year in Guerrero’s absence.

But despite making it back to the final, the two-time champion could not get the better of the new top Pan Am shuttler.  Ygor Coelho had already earned the top seed position even before he beat Guerrero last week en route to his second Peru International Challenge title.  The Cuban dominated the first game but after he had evened the score in the second, Coelho ran away with the decider to snatch the title.

Canada’s Rachel Honderich was returning to the having won silver and bronze at the Pan Am Games two years ago.  In the earlier rounds, Honderich’s opponent in the women’s singles final, 2016 winner Brittney Tam (pictured), had already taken care of their top-seeded compatriot and Pan Am and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Michelle Li.  All three games between the two Canadians were somewhat one-sided, but Honderich was the one on top in two of them and took the title after dominating the decider 21-7.

In the mixed doubles, Honderich accompanied another Pan Am Games silver medallist, Toby Ng, on his path back to the top of the continent’s pecking order.  Ng took his 6th mixed title with his third partner, as he and Honderich beat 2016 champions Nyl Yakura / Brittney Tam (pictured bottom) in straight games.

Brittney Tam may have had to settle for two silvers but Yakura teamed up with Ho-Shue once again to take the men’s doubles title for the second straight year.  In the very next match, Michelle Tong and  Josephine Wu (pictured left) repeated as women’s doubles champions.  They were even more convincing in their defeat of Peru’s Daniela Macias / Danica Nishimura than they had been when they beat the same pair in last year’s semi-final stage.

The Canadians will now make ready to cross the Pacific for the Sudirman Cup later this month.  Team USA, the last members of whom were eliminated on semi-finals day in Havana, will also be competing in Gold Coast.

Final results
MS:  Ygor Coelho (BRA) [1] beat Osleni Guerrero (CUB) [4]  12-21, 21-16, 21-10
WS:  Rachel Honderich (CAN) [2] beat Brittney Tam (CAN)  21-8, 12-21, 21-7
MD:  Jason Anthony Ho-Shue / Nyl Yakura (CAN) beat Austin James Bauer / Ty Alexander Lindeman (CAN)  21-6, 21-18
WD:  Michelle Tong / Josephine Wu (CAN) [1] Canada beat Daniela Macias / Danica Nishimura [2]  21-11, 21-12
XD:  Toby Ng / Rachel Honderich (CAN) [1] Canada beat Nyl Yakura / Brittney Tam (CAN) [2]  21-13, 21-14             

Click here for complete results

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