WORLDS 2015 Day 1 – Pan Am silver over gold

Day 1 of the Total BWF World Championships featured a repeat of the gold medal final from last month’s Pan Am Games, with the Canadians reversing their fortunes to proceed […]

Day 1 of the Total BWF featured a repeat of the gold medal final from last month’s Pan Am Games, with the Canadians reversing their fortunes to proceed to the second round.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent live in Jakarta.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

It may have seemed like a long way to come for a rematch but after losing the gold medal final at their home Pan Am Games in Toronto, Canada’s Toby Ng and Alex Bruce (pictured) ended up having to come all the way to Jakarta to seek their revenge on their Pan Am arch-rivals at the World Championships.

But there were no complaints from the Canadians.  They bounced back from their first ever loss to Phillip Chew and Jamie Subandhi (pictured below) of the United States and won in two close games in front of an already boisterous Monday Jakarta crowd.

The match was a real see-saw affair with the Canadians having then losing the upper hand in the first game and the Americans doing the same in the second but it was Ng and Bruce who came out on top in extra points both times.

“I think it was more unforced errors on both sides,” said Ng afterward.  “It’s weird because it almost felt as if the wind was different all the time.  It wasn’t just like one side was faster, it was just depending what the current was for that moment.”

While revelling in the victory, Ng and Bruce stepped back to analyze the progression of their rivalry with Chew and Subhandi, whose win at the Pan Am Games was their first against the Canadians and came in what was itself a repeat of the Pan Am Championship final at the same venue in 2014.

“I think [the Pan Am Games loss] was a little bit of pressure,” said Ng.  “We don’t usually get so many people cheering for us.  It’s just so nice to have that that you almost want to win for them and then that puts on pressure because you want to do well for everyone.”

“It was a different atmosphere in the Pan Am Games,” said Bruce.  “The fans were really good in the finals of the Pan Am Championships but not so much the rest of the week but at the Games it was full every day.”

Ng added, “The difference was actually that at the Pan Am Championships, there were only bleachers on one side but it was both sides for the Pan Am Games.”

The players also looked at the advantages of starting off their World Championship campaign with a match against these familiar opponents.

“Playing the Americans again was good because it was a way to really see if they were on top of us now,” said Toby Ng.  “I think we can say from this win that it’s still very, very close.  I think we’ll always be expecting a challenge from them.

“Losing also gives us the chance to reflect on what we didn’t do so well and make that adjustment and try again.  We hadn’t played them since almost a year ago so people can change a lot in one year.”

“This win makes a huge difference,” said Bruce.  “This is my first win at the World Championships so it’s great at different levels: it’s great to come here and beat someone we just lost to, to win a match at the Worlds, to play in front of a loud crowd again and overcome that this time – so on a lot of different levels it helps us going forward.”

On the topic of looking forward, the Canadians have advanced to the second round, where the 2009 mixed champion Kamilla Rytter Juhl and partner Mads Pieler Kolding of Denmark are waiting for them.

“We played them at the All England and it didn’t go as well as we’d hoped,” said Ng.  “We know it’s going to be a tough transition because we always know if we win the first match at the Worlds, we have to play someone in the top 16.”

“We’ll see if we’ve made any improvement since March,” added Bruce.

Click here for complete Day 1 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 @