Smashing debut at worlds for Lindeman
St. Albert badminton player attacked the net for Canada at U19 world juniors
Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 06:00 am
Making the leap of faith into the U19 level wasn’t a tall order for St. Albert badminton player Ty Lindeman.
The Grade 11 Paul Kane High School student competed for Canada at junior worlds in April at Alor Setar, Malaysia. He’s ranked first nationally in mixed doubles and second in singles and doubles in his age division.
“It wasn’t as big of a jump that I thought it would be,” said Lindeman, 16. “A lot of the players (in Canada) that are 18 stuck around and played and they are ones that gave me some trouble but a lot of them were going to university and didn’t play as much.”
In the team event at junior worlds Lindeman won matches against Bulgaria in doubles with Austin Bauer of Calgary and in mixed doubles with Takeisha Wang of Edmonton. Lindeman and Wang (ranked first in women’s U19 doubles and third in singles in Canada) also teamed up to defeat the United States.
In the Eye Level Cup format at junior worlds Lindeman prevailed against a Bulgarian 12-21, 21-14, 21-11 before losing to a Sri Lankan 13-21, 11-21.
“I actually did pretty good. In the individual event I won a round of singles and I made it into the top 64 and I placed top 128th in mixed doubles and doubles,” Lindeman said. “As a team Canada placed 19th, which is actually pretty good considering how many of the top Asian countries there are.”
The Royal Glenora Club member represented Canada at four Pan American Junior Championships, featuring badminton players from the Americans, but never at junior worlds.
“It was great to be able to play against the top players. It really showed you how good they are. It’s not that they seem that way, they actually are that good,” Lindeman said. “In their countries badminton is a lot bigger than Canada so they get more funding to do more training. They all train every day, like 12 to six so they’re all super fit and technique-wise they’re strong.”
Lindeman buckled down in preparation for his U19 debut after winning gold in mixed doubles with Wang and settling for silver in doubles with Bauer in the U17 bracket at last year’s Pan Am meet in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
“I started training five days a week instead of three days a week. I had five days a week of the on-court training and then two of those days also included off-the-court training in the gym. That definitely helped with my fitness and technique and everything that I needed to keep up with those (U19) players.”
It’s been a labour of love for Lindeman.
“I like going to training. It takes your mind off school and everything else that is going on. It just lets you escape from the world kind of thing,” said the latest inductee into the Gator Sports Hall of Fame for Lorne Akins Junior High School graduates who represented Canada internationally or played professionally.
Lindeman also doubled the number of tournaments in a season compared to the handful he normally entered.
“I played in maybe five national tournaments and five provincial tournaments and then worlds so it was a lot,” he said. “It was a little bit tougher because you get less time to recover and less time to train in between tournaments but overall I think it was worth it.”
After junior worlds Lindeman and Bauer spent a few days in Kuala Lumpur training for nationals and played friendly matches with the Malaysian U16 team.
Following a two-day stopover at home Lindeman headed to Vancouver for nationals and was awarded silver in singles plus doubles with Bauer and mixed doubles with Wang in the U19 draw.
Last year at nationals in Saskatoon the recipient of the tournament’s sportsmanship award was the silver medallist in mixed doubles with Wang and doubles with Bauer and the bronze medallist in singles.
Lindeman finished off the season with the Royal Glenora championships as the winner in men’s singles and mixed doubles with Josephine Wu of Edmonton and the Alberta Super 6 finals, which matches winners of previous Yonex Alberta Series tournaments for one last tournament featuring $10,000 in prize money. Lindeman and Bauer were victorious in doubles in a marathon 29-30, 21-19, 21-19 affair against Alex Pang and Greg Bury of Calgary.
“There is a lot more pressure when there is big money on the line but a medal at nationals means just as much to me as the money does,” said Lindeman, who estimated he earned about $1,000 as one of the youngest players in the open cash tournament but hasn’t received his winnings yet.