Badminton Life would like to welcome our newest contributor to the website, Charles Neufeldt. Charles is a Canadian badminton player and coach based in Saskatoon.
Top contenders back this year are Canadian men’s singles players Stephan Wojcikiewicz, David Snider and Alex Pang. Also back 2nd seed from Brazil Daniel Paiola, along with Charles Pyne and Gareth Henry from Jamaica. This should make for strong competition. Missing from the men’s singles draw this year is last years winner Kevin Cordon, as well as the rest of the Guatemalan team members. Joseph Rogers last years semi finalist is also missing from the draw. From the looks of the draw it looks like Paiola will have his work cut out for him to make it to the final, he will have Pang or Snider to go through first before he gets his chance at gold.
Following suit with the men’s singles, the women’s singles draw also lost last years winner Anna Rice as she has retired officially after her performance at the Commonwealth Games. Even with the loss of Rice, Canada looks favourable to come out on top with the addition of Charmaine Reid 1st seed and Michelle Li ¾ seed. I am predicting early problems for Karyn Cecilia Velez as her possible 2nd round match up is Joycelyn Ko, last year women’s singles runner up.
Men’s Doubles are not showing much representation from last years top teams. Missing teams are Guatemalan winners Kevin Cordon and Rodalfo Ramirez, as well as runners up Martin Del Valle and Antonio De Vinatea from Peru. Also not attending are the American and Peruvian semi finalists. This year teams to watch out for are the 1st seeds Derrick Ng and Adrian Liu from Canada along with Brazilians Hugo Arthuso and Daniel Paiola seeded 2nd. Other Teams looking Strong are Gareth Henry and Charles Pyne from Jamaica and Peruvian team Bruno Monteverde and Rodrigo Pacheco.
Canadians Valerie St. Jacques and Milaine Cloutier are missing this year after placing first in women’s doubles last years Championships. Strong returning teams this year are Peruvian team Christina Aicardi and Claudia Rivero seeded 1st along with 2nd seeds Iris Wang and Rena Wang of the United States. Other title contenders are Canadians Alex Bruce and Michelle Li with fellow teammates Grace Gao and Joycelyn Ko. All of these teams will have to work hard to make it through the semi finials.
Returning mixed doubles champions Toby Ng and Grace Gao are accompanied by their fellow Canadian’s teammates Alex Pang, Michelle Li, Kevin Li, Alex Bruce, Adrian Liu and Joycelyn Ko. Pang and Ko were last years runners up, they are back with new partners Pang playing with Li and Ko playing with Liu. I would expect to see an all Canadian mixed final. The 2nd seeds Bruno Monteverde and Claudia Zornoza have a tough 1st round match against Pang and Li. The Brazilians could be something to watch out for. Brazil has the most team entered in this category, they stand total five teams strong.