Lindeman good as gold
St. Albert badminton player wins U17 mixed doubles at Pan American Junior Championships
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Saturday, Aug 24, 2013 06:00 am
A streak of seven silvers at the international and national level for St. Albert badminton player Ty Lindeman ended with gold at the Pan American Junior Championships in Mexico.
The Grade 11 Paul Kane High School student finished second-base five times for Team Alberta at nationals (U16 mixed doubles and doubles this year and mixed doubles in 2012; U14 singles and mixed doubles in 2011) and twice for Team Canada at Pan Ams (U17 doubles this year and mixed doubles in 2012) before winning mixed doubles at the recent Pan Am tournament featuring the top badminton players in the Americans.
Lindeman, 16 and Takeisha Wang of Edmonton teamed up to defeat Vincent Chiu and Crystal Pon of the United Sates 21-16, 14-21, 21-8 for gold in U17 mixed.
“I’ve been in that position so many times to try and get the gold and I’ve never been able to come through so to be able to finally do that was the best,” Lindeman said. “It shows that all your hard work has actually paid off.”
The magnitude of the moment took time to sink in after Lindeman and Wang polished off the Americans in the third and deciding game.
“I kind of just stood there for a second with a blank look on my face until Takeisha turned around and she had this huge smile. That’s when I realized, ‘Hey, I just won Pan Ams.’”
The longtime mixed duo from the Royal Glenora Club knew they were on the verge of something special going into the match.
“We actually played them once before back in December and we had beaten them in three games as well so we came into the final fairly confident. We knew we could beat them,” Lindeman said.
Their faith never wavered despite dropping the second game.
“It’s all even ground after that and you’ve just got to focus on trying to make the best of the third game and things just went our way,” Lindeman said. “The main thing was they were cracking under the pressure. They were making a lot of unforced errors and we were still playing really good so they really couldn’t do anything.”
The result also earned Lindeman and Wang, 16, invites to Badminton Canada’s development team. They will receive planning (training and competition) support from the national staff coaches pool; access to Badminton Canada’s athlete monitoring programs, development team funding and activities; and financial support for selected international events and medical and training support from Badminton Canada’s integrated support team.
“I think they’re training us for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto,” said Lindeman.
His second of three medals in four Pan Am appearances was silver in doubles with Austin Bauer of Calgary.
“In the semifinals we actually played the winners of the 2011 Pan American Games. We didn’t really know what to expect coming into that one but it went pretty well and we won,” Lindeman said. “We played our fellow Canadians (Jason Ho-shue and Jonathan Lai) in the final and that was a close three games.”
In singles Lindeman lost in the quarter-finals to the first seed, who fell to Ho-shue in the final.
Lindeman's last major competition before Pan Ams was junior nationals in U16.
“It was my most successful nationals yet with two silvers (with Bauer in doubles and Wang in mixed doubles) and a bronze (in singles),” said the recipient of the tournament’s sportsmanship award. “The first few rounds were pretty easy and then I injured myself (lower body) so that made it a little more tougher. In quarters I had a really, really tough game in singles and the umpire actually congratulated me afterwards for being able to come back like that.”
A season to remember for Lindeman included his third provincial triple crown in three years and the second at the U16 level for the winner of 13 career provincial titles.
“I would say it was a very good season with the three wins and silver (in U19 doubles with Bauer) at provincials. That's always good. At the national level tournaments I got a bunch of golds and silvers and then at nationals that was my best result yet and then at Pan Ams I got the gold,” said Lindeman, who is ranked near the top in his age division in Canada in singles, doubles with Bauer and mixed doubles with Wang.
Next season Lindeman will move up to the U19 division for nationals and Pan Ams.
“At the beginning of this upcoming season I'm going to play in a lot of the bigger tournaments and try and qualify for junior worlds in April. There is the Youth Olympics next October, but the criteria for that is so tight and so hard that it’s probably not going to happen but I’m going to give it my best shot.”