Former champ back on top at badminton championship

It's been a while since Whitehorse's John Pan held a badminton title. "I used to play 15 years ago," said Pan. "I used to win them from when I was 17 up to when I was in college.

It’s been a while since Whitehorse’s John Pan held a badminton title.

“I used to play 15 years ago,” said Pan. “I used to win them from when I was 17 up to when I was in college.”

Though it’s been about a decade since he hoisted a trophy, he wasn’t looking rusty at the Yukon Badminton Championships over the weekend at Porter Creek Secondary.

The 33-year-old took first in open men’s singles and followed up with a doubles title as well.

Pan took the singles title with a come-from-behind win over Adam MacDonald. Pan fought off three match-points for MacDonald in the second en route to a 19-21, 23-21, 21-9 win.

“It was very grueling, John was running me around, and by the end we were both exhausted,” said MacDonald. “We both played well, he took it in the end, but it was good fun.”

MacDonald is also getting back into the swing of things. He won the P.E.I. men’s title in 1999, “The last time I played competitive badminton,” said MacDonald. “This year I took it up again and made it to the finals and lost in three.”

“We usually play in the adult club,” said Pan. “What we’re trying to do now is get more people interested from out of town – that are new to town, I guess you could say.

“We’re trying to get more involved and go to outside tournaments, get back into it. We’re all retired juniors and now we want to get back into it, more for lifestyle and fitness.”

Watson Lake’s Jason Carlson, who won the open men’s title the last four years, was absent from the championship.

Also absent was an open women’s draw. Due to low numbers, no open women’s single champ was crowned this year. Additionally, there were too few women to hold open women’s doubles and open mixed doubles. So organizers just held a doubles event open to doubles teams of any make up.

Pan teamed up with Abbie Rotundi and took the open doubles title with a straight-set win over Peter Toth and Jackie Chen in the final.

“John and Abbie have been playing together for quite some time, so they are definitely strong opponents and smart players,” said Toth. “For my partner and I, we fought to the end and enjoyed ourselves.”

While Pan notched two titles a junior player took three.

Whitehorse’s Mannie Sharma was the only player to win three divisions over the weekend. The 14-year-old claimed gold in U14 boys singles, U14 boys doubles and U16 mixed doubles.

Sharma secured his singles title with a straight-set win over runner-up Lukas Kobler.

“In the second set it got pretty close and he started winning, but then I decided I didn’t want to go to a third set,” said Sharma. “So I played my hardest after that.”

Sharma won the U16 mixed doubles with Czarina Lubi and the boys doubles with brother Ritik Sharma, who also won the U14 boys singles title.

Both Sharma boys played for Yukon at the 2014 Arctic Winter Games this past March in Fairbanks, Alaska.

“It was really nice to play because a whole lot of players who didn’t come out last year played today,” said Mannie.

“I went to the Arctic Winter Games for badminton and that gave me a lot of experience and all the training for that really helped here.”

Contact Tom Patrick at


Open men’s singles

Gold – John Pan

Silver – Adam MacDonald

Bronze – Peter Toth

Open doubles

Gold –  John Pan/Abbie Rotondi

Silver –  Peter Toth/Jackie Chen

Bronze –  Rob Johnson/Ethan Allen

U14 boys singles

Gold – Ritik Sharma

Silver – Bryce Anderson

Bronze – Daniel Kim

U14 girls singles

Gold – Isabel Magsucang

Silver – Abigal Cuenza

Bronze – Kathleen Lanigan

U16 boys singles

Gold – Mannie Sharma

Silver – Lukas Kobler

Bronze – Jared Morgan

U14 mixed doubles

Gold –  Isabel Magsucang/Carl Knickle

Silver –  Abigail Cuenza/Daniel Kim

Bronze –  Kathleen Lanigan/Ritik Sharma

U16 mixed doubles

Gold –  Mannie Sharma/Czarina Lubi

Silver –  Hanna Wirth/Trygg Jensen

Bronze –  Sam Winemute/Braydon Klassen

U14 boys doubles

Gold –  Mannie Sharma/Ritik Sharma

Silver –  Carl Knickle/Kaleb Pritchett

Bronze –  Rohit Sharma/Aamir Djearam

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dawson the dog sits next to the Chariot Patrick Jackson has loaded and rigged up to walk the Dempster Highway from where it begins, off the North Klondike Highway, to the Arctic Circle. (Submitted)
Walking the Dempster

Patrick Jackson gets set for 405-kilometre journey

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read