The territory got two new open singles badminton champs on Saturday.
Whitehorse players Lukas Kobler and Caroline Thibeault rode undefeated streaks to their first singles crowns at the Yukon Badminton Championships over the weekend at Porter Creek Secondary School.
Kobler entered the open men’s singles for the experience and came away with the gold.
“I’m surprised. I kind of joined it to learn … and I just kind of won it,” he said.
Kobler was the only player to bring home four medals over the weekend. In addition to the open singles, the 16-year-old won the under-19 male singles, silver in the open mixed doubles with Nora Vincent-Braun and bronze in open men’s doubles with Carl Knickle.
Kobler and Vincent-Braun both played for Yukon at the Arctic Winter Games in Greenland this past March.
“I made the Arctics team and I was one of the older guys. The other one (Marek Boulerice) wasn’t here and he definitely would have been competition for me,” said Kobler.
“How I played against Carl in the (U19) gold medal game – I was surprised by the score,” he added of his 21-5, 21-6 win in the final. “I thought it would be way closer.”
Thibeault went undefeated in five matches – without dropping a set – to win gold in the open women’s singles division, which was combined with the under-19 and under-16 female divisions.
“I’m so happy. This is the second time I participated at the Yukon championship. Last year was my first time and there were only two women, so I really appreciate the younger girls coming into the open (division) to play with us,” said Thibeault. “I know the girls went to Greenland (for the Arctic Games) so they have good technique and they go on the court very well.”
She also took gold in the open mixed doubles with John Kremer and silver in open women’s doubles with Gabrielle Belanger.
Thibeault, who played badminton for Universite de Sherbrooke, won a silver in mixed doubles last year for her only previous medal at the Yukon championships.
“When I came here I said, I need to improve my badminton, because I stopped for 10, 15 years,” said Thibeault. “When I found the club at Takhini (Elementary) … I started last year playing there.
“I’m very happy with the badminton club in Yukon.”
Contact Tom Patrick at
Open women’s singles
1st Caroline Thibeault
2nd Abigail Cuenza
3rd Nora Vincent-Braun
Open men’s singles
1st Lukas Kobler
2nd John Kremer
3rd Carl Knickle
Open women’s doubles
1st Abigail Cuenza/Nora Vincent-Braun
2nd Caroline Thibeault/ Gabrielle Belanger
3rd Sandy Ganesan/Macy Li
Open men’s doubles
1st John Kremer/John Pan
2nd Eri Boye/Ethan Allen
3rd Lukas Kobler/Carl Knickle
Open mixed doubles
1st Caroline Thibeault/ John Kremer
2nd Nora Vincent-Braun/ Lukas Kobler
3rd Abigail Cuenza/Carl Knickle
U19 boys singles
1st Lukas Kobler
2nd Carl Knickle
3rd Daniel Kim
U16 boys doubles
1st Tanner Ulrich/Kenny Hyatt
2nd Antoine Giguere/ Thibault Lohergne
3rd Lou Samson/ Romeo Champagne
U16 mixed doubles
1st Morgan Iskra/Austin Au
2nd Gabrielle Belanger/ Antoine Giguere
3rd Ljubica Tokic/Lou Samson
U14 girls singles
1st Ljubica Tokic
2nd Gabrielle Belanger
3rd Jasmine Sealy
U14 boys singles
1st Tony Kim
2nd Anton Menzel
3rd Thomas Janzen
U14 girls doubles
1st Ainslie Spence/Morgan Iskra
2nd Ljubica Tokic/ Gabrielle Belanger
3rd Emma Lohergne/Elizabeth Inglis-Corneau