Greenland was as dominant as usual in Arctic Winter Games badminton last week at Porter Creek Secondary, winning gold in every single division.
However, Team Yukon players still managed to find room on the podium, capturing three medals.
“Greenland was as strong as ever but our team did get into the medal round for the doubles, which was good, and placed in the bronze medal match, which was excellent,” said Yukon coach Ken Frankish. “Our juvenile male (Mustafa Ali Syed) did exceptionally well to get in the gold medal match.”
Syed won silver for his team’s best result at the Games. He lost 21-7, 21-6 in the gold medal match to Greenland’s Thomas Madsen on Saturday.
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Syed advanced to the final with a 21-15, 21-14 semifinal win over N.W.T.‘s Dylan Allen last Friday. He went 5-1 in the round-robin, his only loss coming against gold-winning Madsen.
Yukoners Afzal Djearam and Casey Parker captured bronze in junior male doubles in one of the closest medal matches of the badminton competition. In the bronze medal match, Djearam and Parker defeated Alberta North 24-22, 11-21, 21-19.
“That was a pretty exciting match for the bronze medal,” said Frankish.
Djearam and Parker, who went 3-3 in the round-robin, lost in two sets to the eventual gold winning Greenland team in the semifinals.
Syed also won bronze, teaming up with Peter Jensen in juvenile male doubles. The two took a 21-18, 21-11 win over Alberta North’s Hayden Grotkowski and Coden Laue for the medal. Jensen and Syed lost to gold-winning Greenland in the semifinal to arrive in the bronze game.
The Yukon’s Shermaine Chua and Emily Knickle took fourth in juvenile female doubles losing 21-16, 21-17 to N.W.T.‘s Brooke Schaefer and Sujal Shrestha in the bronze match.
They went 3-3 in the round-robin, including a two-set win over bronze-winning N.W.T.
“That was the other bronze medal that was on the table, but the competition was stiff,” said Frankish. “The girls had played a team that they had beaten in the round-robin, but when you become a team to beat, the other team picked up their game and our girls were unable, unfortunately, to pull it off.”
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