Monday, April 18, 2011

2011 Peru International Challenge

(More pictures will be added to my Facebook Fanpage!)

The 2011 Peru International Challenge was held in Lima, Peru between April 14 to April 17th. There was a fairly large group of Canadians that entered the tournament, with 2 entries in Men's Singles, 5 entries in Women's Singles, 4 entries in Men's Doubles (with Timothy Ma and I playing with partners from different countries), 3 entries in Women's Doubles, and 4 entries in Mixed Doubles. Within those 18 entries, Canada held 10 seeded positions so we had a good chance of doing well at this tournament, and we definitely did pretty well overall!

(Day 1 - Thursday. April 14)
The tournament started with qualifying on Thursday, with only Timothy Ma and I playing that day. I actually entered Men's Singles as I was not sure whether I would find a Men's Doubles partner, as Jon Vandervet was unable to join me this time. Though I did end up getting a request partner, I decided to play Singles anyway as I did not get any time to practice in the gym. My MD partner actually ended up being Nick Bonkowsky from Trinidad and Tobago, but he is studying in Calgary at the moment. Unfortunately, we were unable to defeat our Mexican opponents in the qualifying, but Tim and I ended up making it out of the qualifying for Men's Singles into the main draw, where we each had to play a seeded opponent the next day.

[TournamentSoftware - Matches - Day 1]

YouTube:
MD Q (R64): Job Castillo/Salvador Sanchez [MEX] vs. Toby Ng [CAN]/Nicholas Bonkowsky [TRI]
Game 1

Game 2


(Day 2 - Friday, April 15)
The second day started off with Men's Singles, as Tim was up against the top seed, Michael Lahnsteiner from Austria, and I was up against the 3/4 seed, Rodrigo Pacheco from Peru. Tim was off to a rough start, but he gave his opponent a much better fight in the 2nd set, losing 22-20. I did pretty much the same with a bad start, but I was able to take a set off my opponent. Though I was up by a few points in the 3rd, I was not able to finish it off, because my opponent fought back and played better... and also because I wasn't sure what to do anymore hahaha =P Unfortunately, that morning put the end to our Canadian Men's Singles. The rest of the day went fairly well for most of the Canadians. Most of them had little trouble with their opponents, as we played only the Round of 32 for all Doubles events, while Singles went until the 16s. My Mixed Doubles was pretty close actually, but we were able to stay focused enough to finish our match. However, Phyllis Chan had to play the final match of the day but fell to Karyn Velez [USA] 22-20 in the final set.

[TournamentSoftware - Matches - Day 2]


YouTube:
MS R32:
Rodrigo Pacheco [PER] vs. Toby Ng [CAN]
Game 1

Game 2

Game 3



XD R32: Toby Ng/Grace Gao [CAN] vs. Martin Del Valle/Alejandra Monteverde [PER]
Game 1

Game 2



(Day 3 - Saturday, April 16)
The 3rd day of the tournament was quite heavy for some players, especially Joycelyn Ko as she had a potential 8 matches to play. The tournament scheduled 3 rounds for Doubles events (16s, QFs, SFs) which I have never seen before in an International tournament. For players in both Doubles and Mixed, that is already a potential 6 matches to play. As for Joycelyn, she had potentially 2 more Women's Singles matches, which would have meant a total of 8 matches should she make it into all 3 semifinals. The day started off rough for the Canadians in Men's Doubles, as Francois Bourret/Kevin Li fell to the 3/4 seeds from France in straight sets. Timothy Ma with Jamaican partner, Charles Pyne, who is actually training in Canada, fell to the Brazilian 5/8 seeds in straight sets as well. However, Adrian Liu/Derrick Ng, the 2nd seeds, had little difficulty in their match getting Canada back on track. The Women's Doubles went well for Canada, though Nicole Grether/Charmaine Reid had to play the unseeded team of Eva Lee/Paula Obanana [USA]. It was a tough first game battle, but Canada was able to come out on top to take the first set. The US kept on fighting in the 2nd set, as there were many long rallies, but Canada came out on top at the end of most rallies, winning the match in straight sets. The other two WD teams of Michelle Li/Alex Bruce and Joycelyn Ko/Grace Gao also had little problems winning their rounds. The XD R16s were fairly straight forward as well, with all 4 Canadian teams pulling through in straight sets.

WD R16: Ko/Gao [CAN] vs. Brazil

The quarterfinals proved a little trickier for Canada, with only Nicole Grether and Michelle Li pulling through. Joycelyn Ko had a tight second set against Cee Ketpura [USA] but eventually lost 26-24. MD and WD went well for Canada though, with Michelle Li/Alex Bruce defeating the 3/4 seeds from Peru in 3 sets! In XD, Kevin Li/Alex Bruce fell to 3/4 seeds of Halim Ho/Eva Lee [USA], but Derrick Ng/Phyllis Chan, unseeded, defeated the 3/4 Peruvian seeds to make a semifinal spot. The semifinals were a little later that evening, and although most of the match-ups were Canada vs. USA, we had a couple of Canada vs. Canada match-ups unfortunately. The first two match-ups were actually Canada vs. USA in the WS, with Nicole taking on Cee, and Michelle playing rival Rena Wang [USA]. Although Nicole fought back and even saved a few match points in the 2nd set to win it and also the 3rd set, Michelle tragically fell to Rena in straight sets, so Canada and USA both took one spot each for the finals. In MD, Adrian and Derrick avenged their loss against Sam Gunatileka/Vincent Nguy [USA] from the 2010 Pan Am Championships in straight sets. WD proved to be quite intense, with Nicole/Charmaine up against Michelle/Alex, with Michelle/Alex scraping by in the final set to take it 21-19! It's a very big win for Michelle and Alex, considering that Nicole and Charmaine have been pretty much undefeated in WD in the Pan American zone for the past while! Unfortunately, we couldn't have an all-Canadian WD final, as Joycelyn/Grace fell to the rival Wang sisters [USA]. Rena and Iris avenged their losses to Joyce/Grace from the 2010 Pan Am Championships, in addition to the 2010 Peru International a year ago! XD was interesting, as Grace and I were up against Derrick/Phyllis, the same match up from the 2010 Peru International, but in the finals. We had a 3 set match again, but Grace and I were able to win with a more convincing score than the previous year, where we won 22-20 in the 3rd to take the title. Adrian/Joyce were up against Halim/Eva and they also battled it out in 3 sets, but with Halim/Eva taking the final set with a convincing score as well. Wow, it was such a long day, and at the end of all of it, we got 4 Canada vs. USA match-ups for the finals!

[TournamentSoftware - Matches - Day 3]

YouTube:
Walking around the Club Regatas


WD R16: Nicole Grether/Charmaine Reid [CAN] vs. Eva Lee/Paula Obanana [USA]
Game 1 (incomplete)

Game 2


XD R16:
Toby Ng/Grace Gao [CAN] vs. Salvador Sanchez/Victoria Montero [MEX]
Game 1

Game 2


MD QF:
 Adrian Liu/Derrick Ng [CAN] vs. Halim Ho/Arnold Setiadi [USA]
Game 1

Game 2


XD QF: Toby Ng/Grace Gao [CAN] vs. Philip Chew/Cee Ketpura [USA]
Game 1

Game 2


XD QF: Halim Ho/Eva Lee [USA] vs. Kevin Li/Alex Bruce [CAN]
Game 1

Game 2


MD SF: Adrian Liu/Derrick Ng [CAN] vs. Sam Gunatileka/Vincent Nguy [USA]
Game 1

Game 2


XD SF:
Toby Ng/Grace Gao [CAN] vs. Derrick Ng/Phyllis Chan [CAN]
Game 1

Game 2

Game 3



(Day 4 - Sunday, April 17)
The finals began at 10:00am, with the order being XD, WS, MS, WD, and MD. That meant that I was up first, against Halim and Eva. The last time we played was in the 2010 Guatemala International in September, and I think we came out on top 27-25 in the final set, not convincing at all o__O Of course, we were a little nervous, but we hoped to use some of the experience we gained in Korea to our advantage. We started the match very well, taking a commanding lead and finished the set as soon as we could. However, they fought back in the 2nd, taking an early lead, and we were never able to catch up at all in that set. The final set went well, despite some service faults and questionable line calls, but we fought hard to gain a small lead at the beginning and did our best to keep it until we got to the end! It was a nerve-racking match and I know the next one we have with them will be even more intense! As for the Canada vs. USA match up, Canada is up 1:0 =)

Women's Singles was next, between Nicole and Rena and it was easily the longest match of the tournament! Nicole fought hard to claim the 2nd set, as she was down a few match points, but she was not able to keep up in the 3rd, as she sustained a pulled muscle in the 2nd. As Rena's lead got greater and greater, Nicole had to stop the match as her injury grew worse as well. Good fight by Nicole, but Rena's win ties Canada and USA at 1:1!

Next up was the Men's Singles between Guatemala and Austria. Kevin Cordon [GUA] took the first set and seemingly threw the 2nd to save energy. Fortunately, it seemed to have worked for him, as he came out very strong in the 3rd to take the 2011 Peru International MS title.

WD F: Bruce/Li [CAN] vs. Wang/Wang [USA]
WD: Coin toss

The Women's Doubles proved quite eventful, with future rival teams of Michelle and Alex taking on Rena and Iris. Canada was off to a slow start, as Alex seemed to be hit with nerves at the beginning. Fortunately, she was able to regain focus with the help of Michelle and they started fighting back. After, coming back to take the 2nd, they continued to show their strength and won the match with a quick 21-8 finish in the final set! Congratulations to Michelle and Alex, as I believe this is their first International Challenge victory! =) Canada is up 2:1!

MD F: Gunawan/Bach [USA] vs. Liu/Ng [CAN]
MD F: Warm Up

The final match of the day proved the most one-sided, as Adrian and Derrick were up against 2005 World Champions Tony Gunawan/Howard Bach [USA]. Unfortunately for the Canadians, they never seemed to get comfortable in the match, as Tony and Howard never really gave them any room to work with. The World Champs gave the Canadians a tough lesson in Men's Doubles, as they won rather convincingly in the shortest final of the day. Amicably though, Tony and Howard showed great class, as they gave the Canadians a few pointers and some things to work on later after the medal presentations. Nice try for Adrian and Derrick and congratulations to Tony and Howard for taking the title! Canada and US are tied 2:2 =P

After an eventful morning, we had our medal presentations and there was complimentary food and beverages for spectators and players. I wish all tournaments were like that =) Anyway, a few of the Canadians headed back to their hotels, while a few of us decided to hang around the Club Regatas a little longer. I took a brief video of this beautiful beach-side club in addition to some extra bits of fun, as a bunch of the Canadians decided to take one last trip to the pool! It's been a great tournament and hope you enjoy all the footage!

2011 Peru IC XD Medalists
2011 Peru IC WS Medalists
2011 Peru IC MS Medalists
2011 Peru IC WD Medalists
2011 Peru IC MD Medalists

[TournamentSoftware - Matches - Day 4]


YouTube:
XD F: Toby Ng/Grace Gao [CAN] vs. Halim Ho/Eva Lee [USA]
Game 1

Game 2

Game 3


WD F:
Alex Bruce/Michelle Li [CAN] vs. Rena Wang/Iris Wang [USA]
Game 1

Game 2

Game 3


MD F:
 Tony Gunawan/Howard Bach [USA] vs. Adrian Liu/Derrick Ng [CAN]
Game 1

Game 2


In addition, there are a few other media sources on the Internet that have also followed our badminton journey in Peru. Below are links to those sources:

[BadmintonLife.com - Semi-Finals Overview]

[BadmintonLife.com - Finals Overview]

[Badzine.net - Tournament Overview]




And... here is a little bonus footage of after-tournament fun for my blog readers =)

Tim vs. Adrian - 'Walking' Race in Pool

'SPUD'

Jump-Rope Arcade Game

Walking around Larcomar Mall, Miraflores, Lima, Peru


Derrick, Adrian, and Joyce winning at the Deal or No Deal arcade game!
Kevin and Frank playing Time Crisis 4
Tim playing DDR
Pisco Sours - specialty drink of Peru =) 

Thanks for visiting!!

2 comments:

  1. Wowwww Club Regatas is beautiful! It's sooo big! and the beach is amazing! the beach chairs and umbrella are awesome!!! I would love to go there :)

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  2. I know the Umpire for 2011 Peru International (IC) - MD QF - Liu/Ng [CAN] vs. Ho/Setiadi [USA]!!! The tall guy! He was at Canada Open too! And he asked me to take a picture with him =P I was the "pretty flower/medal girl"

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