Langara Falcons win provincial badminton title

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Langara’s badminton team are the PacWest provincial champions. Back from left: Kelven Chu, Angus Li, Eric Chiu, Jim Guo, Kent Trung, Preston Wong, assistant coach Hugh Leung. Front from left: Head coach Marc Petreman, Paulina Hsu, Arilda Lau, Michelle Hang, Emily Ip, Noel Deleon, Jacinda Leung, assistant coach Bonnie Cheng. Photo by Jake Wray

Feb. 17, 2016

By JAKE WRAY

The Langara Falcons badminton team won their third consecutive provincial title after competing at the PacWest Badminton Provincial championships on Feb. 12 and 13.

Langara faced off against the Vancouver Island University Mariners and the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Eagles, who hosted the tournament at their Surrey campus. For the Falcons to bring home the provincial banner, they had to best their competition in at least three out of five categories. The Falcons’ squad consisted of 11 athletes, four women and seven men.

Langara beat KPU in women’s singles, women’s doubles, and men’s doubles for a final score of 3-2. VIU forfeited the men’s doubles point due to a shortage of players, and Langara beat them in men’s singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles for a final score of 4-1.

Clinching the title

The matches against KPU were early, so it was the later wins against VIU that clinched the championship title for Langara. Bonnie Cheng, Falcons’ assistant coach, said VIU was a formidable opponent, despite the forfeit round.

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Langara badminton player Eric Chiu.

“VIU has actually beaten us twice in exhibition events,” said Cheng. “To be honest, it was close, it could have gone either way.”

Langara’s Eric Chiu and Arilda Lau upset VIU Mariners Graydon Robb and Amanda Rizzo in mixed doubles in the final match of the tournament. Chiu said they had a rocky start but finished strong.

“We struggled in the beginning because we weren’t very stable with our serves,” Chiu said. “Afterwards we started playing smoother together, going for every shot, diving and everything.”

Falcon overcame personal challenges

Langara’s Preston Wong, who defeated VIU Mariner Robert Foster in the men’s singles category, said the biggest challenge was making sure his shots landed within the playing zone.

“It was more of a match against myself,” said Wong. “I think all I needed to do was just keep it in and stay consistent, because my problem in singles is I’m not consistent, but that game was pretty consistent so I’m pretty happy about that.”

The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Badminton National Championships will be hosted by Vancouver Island University, from March 2 to 5. The B.C. team roster is yet to be announced.

Article originally appeared in The Langara Voice

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