CANADIAN INT’L – Bruce drops two, Li takes one for Canada

Michelle Li took the only title for the home badminton team at the Canadian International Challenge in Ottawa yesterday, while Canadians came up short in three other finals. By Don […]

Michelle Li took the only title for the home badminton team at the Canadian in Ottawa yesterday, while Canadians came up short in three other finals.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

Canada’s Michelle Li (pictured) won her second straight title after taking the Maldives International earlier this month.  Li did so by beating the only two Pan Am shuttlers who will still outrank her as of next Thursday.  After dispatching top seed Jamie Subandhi of the United States in the semis, she shut down compatriot Christin Tsai in two games in what was a repeat of this year’s Canadian National Championship final.

Li, who took a break of several months following the London Olympics, saw her ranking drop from a career-high of 22nd in the world last year to a lowly 94th last month but she will be back in the top 50 by next week, as will Tsai and Subandhi.

Li’s Olympic semi-finalist team-mate Alex Bruce,  on the other hand, was on the losing end of two finals on Saturday.  She and new women’s doubles partner Phyllis Chan (pictured) lost the first match of the day at Carelton University’s Alumni Hall to top-seeded Eva Lee / Paula Lynn Obanana of the U.S.A.

“We were not playing as well as yesterday and had trouble getting depth on our lifts. We ended up having to defend full high smashes from the mid court and getting completely overpowered,” said Chan on her Facebook page.

“I think both of us were tired from our two semi-finals and that I used my luck in my mixed. I could not seem to bring back the same intensity from last night. I cannot say that I am not disappointed but it is alright. As long as I keep training and competing, we will have a chance to play them again.”

The mixed fortunes Chan describes referred to her success, with partner Lee Hock Hai of Malaysia, in pushing 2006 World Champion Nathan Robertson and new partner Jenny Wallwork to three close games in their semi-final.  Robertson and Wallwork bounced back to reach the final, where they disposed of national champion Toby Ng, who is now the other new partner to Alex Bruce.

“Not bad for a first tournament with Alex, and we were also up against a really good team,” said Toby Ng on his Facebook page, of the new duo’s loss to Robertson and Wallwork.  “They were nice enough to give us some pointers as well.  Time to go home and train for US and Canada Opens.”

Canada’s other disappointment came when Toby’s brother Derrick, along with partner Adrian Liu, fell in three games to the new Chinese Taipei pairing of Tien Jen Chieh and Ting Hsu Jui.

Two titles went to Europe as men’s singles top seed Eric Pang (pictured) of the Netherlands won his first title in three finals appearances so far for 2013.  Pang edged former top 10 shuttler Joachim Persson of Denmark 24-22, 21-16.

Final results
WD: Eva Lee / Paula Lynn Obanana (USA) [1] beat Alex Bruce / Phyllis Chan (CAN)  21-15, 21-14
WS: Michelle Li (CAN) [3] beat Christin Tsai (CAN) [2]  21-14, 21-19
MS: Eric Pang (NED) [1] beat Joachim Persson (DEN) [3]  24-22 21-16
MD: Tien Jen Chieh / Ting Hsu Jui (TPE) beat Adrian Liu / Derrick Ng (CAN) [2]  21-14, 17-21, 21-16
XD: Nathan Robertson / Jenny Wallwork (ENG) beat Toby Ng / Alex Bruce (CAN)  21-9, 21-12

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 @