The provincials are happening this weekend in Calgary, and there is a surprise entry. Sam Smith is playing the men’s singles after quite sometime away from competitive badminton. He is seeded first with Kyle Foley seeded second. I don’t know how much Sam has been playing recently, but I’m pretty confident that he will at least make the semi-finals where he is drawn to play Brody Hilland. Brody is living in Lethbridge now so I don’t think he is playing much either these days. My bet is that Sam will take it, but with a new scoring system, and a bit of rust it will be harder than any past matches he has had against Brody. I don’t know if he can beat Kyle Foley in the final, that depends largely on how much Sam has been playing leading up to this event, but it is possible since Sam is a really tough player mentally.
Men’s doubles should almost certainly be Will Milroy and Kyle Foley. They will have to play Keith Chan and Mark Docksteader in the final, and neither of them are training nearly as much as Will and Kyle. It would be a big embarrassment for Will and Kyle to lose.
In the women’s singles I honestly don’t even know any of the players, except for Grace Gao. So I am going to say she will win hands down. I would have expected Jody Patrick to play and kick everyone’s butt, not sure why she isn’t playing.
The women’s doubles should be Tammy Sun and Helen Nichol. If they don’t win they should hang up their rackets for life. These girls are by far the strongest pair. They will probably face Jody Patrick and Kelli Sherlock in the finals.
The mixed doubles should have been Will Milroy and Tammy Sun, but as I look at the draws now the only one that is updated is the mixed draw, and to my absolute surprise, Kyle Foley and Helen Nichol defeated Will and Tammy in three games. That is a big shocker! Well I have seen it many times before that the national champions lose the provincials leading up to the nationals, so hopefully that is the case this time for Will and Tammy’s sake. Well done for Kyle and Helen, especially after a loss at the Alberta Open in December.