Thunder Badminton’s Wang Gets International Exposure at Junior Pan Am GamesPosted on: Aug 31, 2015
Edmonton native Takeisha Wang – who will be joining the Concordia Thunder this Fall for her first season of ACAC competition – recently represented Canada at the Junior Pan Am Games. The games, which were held at the Centro de Alto Rendimiento (CAR) in Tijuana, Mexico saw the Old Scona High School product compete in both the Team and Individual portions of the tournament.
In the Team Events that ran from August 2nd to 4th, Takeisha helped Team Canada to a 3rd place finish. "Unfortunately, we had to play the US in the semi-finals because Canada lost the coin toss and ended up being on the harder side of the draw," lamented Wang. Nonetheless, Team Canada comported themselves well, losing a tough battle with a final overall score of 3-2. Takeisha was given the honour of playing 2 events for the team; Mixed Doubles and Girl's Doubles. The Girl's Doubles contest was the deciding match and it was a close three-game set with USA’s strongest Girl's Doubles team (who eventually won the whole tournament in the individual events).
In the Individual Events – which ran from August 5th to 10th – Takeisha qualified for both Girl's Singles and Mixed Doubles but because of an error, she only played Mixed Doubles. In the Round of 64 they defeated the USA’s 4th best Mixed Doubles team. In the Round of 32, they were matched up with another Canadian pair and were able to beat them in 3 games. In the Round of 16, Takeisha and partner Ty Lindeman played another US mixed team who had previously won Pan Ams before but were able to pull off a win. Moving on to the Semi-Finals, they were once again paired up against another Canadian team (fellow Albertans) and were able to advance to the Finals in 2 games. The Mixed Doubles Final was an All-Canadian affair with Takeisha and Ty facing a team that they had previously lost to at the Canadian Nationals finals. Here again, they had to settle for Silver, losing in a very tough and intense match.
"Although I’ve been to 6 Junior Pan Ams in my badminton career, it feels different every tiime. The various opponents and venues that I’ve encountered all contribute to create a new and unique experience each year," stated Wang. "These experiences have taught me so much about not only badminton, but about competing in general. You have to learn to cope with the extreme heat (playing in 40 degree Central American weather), learn to block out the overwhelmingly loud cheers in the stands and get into your zone and learn to take the pressure that comes with representing your country. It was such an honour to be selected to compete for Canada so many times. I am glad that I came out of it with both good and bad memories to remember it by, so I can continue to train and improve for what’s to come."