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Badminton players head to England

With eyes on the 2024 Olympics, local badminton players Ty Lindeman and Josephine Wu are hoping to gain momentum at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in England.
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Ty Lindeman, left, and Josephine Wu, right, are hoping their performance at the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games will put them one step closer to qualifying for the 2024 Olympic badminton team. JACK FARREL/St. Albert Gazette

A busy few months of strong international badminton play has landed St. Albert's Ty Lindeman a spot on the Canadian team for the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Lindeman, 24, will make his second appearance at the Commonwealth Games; he competed in 2018 as well, but qualified for the team as an extra and played with scratch pairings only. Lindeman's mixed-doubles partner, 27-year-old Josephine Wu of Edmonton, who represented Canada at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, will also make her first Commonwealth Games appearance.

"Hopefully I’ll have my experience from the last time to make a push for it," Lindeman said after a medal-winning performance at the 2022 Yonex Canadian Senior Championships held in Sherwood Park on Tuesday, July 5.

At the senior championships Lindeman won gold in the men's doubles event with his partner — Modu Club teammate, Kevin Lee — and gold in the mixed doubles event with Wu, who also represents Modu Club. Wu also won the gold in the women's double event with her partner Catherine Choi.

"I’ve been in this position so many times before, so it just feels really good that all the hard work over the last six months is showing results,” said Lindeman. 

"I think Canada has decent chances to medal [at the Commonwealth Games] so this is a good confidence builder before the tournament.

“Our coach worked us really hard in the weeks leading up to the tournament so I think it’s just nice to see the hard work pay off," Wu said.

"I was really happy with my performance and happy with how things ended.”

With their performance at the senior championships, Lindeman and Wu added another gold medal to the pair's 2022 hardware haul. They also won gold at the 2022 Pan Am Badminton Championships in April in San Salvador, El Salvador. 

Lindeman and men's doubles partner Lee also won bronze at the Pan Am championships, while Wu and her women's doubles partner Choi, won silver.

Teamwork makes the dream work

"Sometimes I know what he’ll hit before he even hits it," Wu said of Lindeman.

"I think our style of play is similar in terms of how we strategize in our game." 

Although the pair has limited experience competing together internationally, Lindeman and Wu have been playing and training together for the past 10 years.

“I think we have really good teamwork," Lindeman said. "We have a play style that compliments each other so I think the teamwork is the biggest thing.”

New club hopes to inspire new faces

Both Lindeman and Wu once trained with Edmonton's B-Active Badminton Club before the athletes followed coach Roymond Kim, who left B-Active to form Modu Club.

Modu Club's facilities in south Edmonton are currently under construction, but once the building is completed it will feature 18 badminton courts — making it the largest badminton facility in Canada, club director Denny Lim said in an email.

At the senior championships in Sherwood Park, Modu Club athletes won gold in three of the five events, a result Wu said she hopes she will inspire young badminton players in the local community.

"We’re hoping it’s going to boost badminton in the community because that’s our goal. Badminton has been slowing down, especially in the junior age category,” Wu said. 

"Everyone who, in the past, has made the Olympics [or] played badminton full-time, has always been from the Ontario region."

Alberta, Wu said, has significantly fewer senior players and role models available to guide the junior badminton players in the province.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games are being held in Birmingham, England, and the action begins on July 29. 

Jack Farrell

About the Author: Jack Farrell

Jack Farrell joined the St. Albert Gazette in May, 2022.
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