“It just keeps getting harder and harder every year,” said Watson Lake’s Jason Carlson.
Be that as it may, competition was not hard enough to dethrone Carlson at the 2013 Yukon Badminton Championships at Porter Creek Secondary over the weekend.
Carlson captured his fourth consecutive open men’s singles title at the championship.
He took the title with an 18-21, 21-16, 21-17 win over former Yukon coach Sandeep Sharma in the final.
“All the games were super close again,” said Carlson. “Every time I’ve played him over the past five years it’s been super close like that.
“I think we were more exhausted than usual at the end of that match than some of the others because we were challenging each other so well. That’s what makes me the player I am: playing against him and other guys like that and having that competition.”
Sharma, who coached Yukon players at the 2011 Canada Winter Games, planned a visit from Calgary to coincide with the championships.
“There was also a former Yukoner from Victoria (third place’s Afsal Djearam) playing as well,” said Carlson. “So the open was a fun division in that sense, that there were some former Yukoners.”
Carlson was also the only triple-gold winner at the championships, a feat he accomplished last year as well.
He won the open men’s doubles with Vancouver’s Jerry Lum and the mixed doubles with fellow Watson Laker Abbie Rotondi. Carlson and Rotondi won the title together last year as well.
Carlson competed on behalf of the Yukon at the 2008 and 2010 Arctic Winter Games, collecting three silver and bronze. He also won the under-19 division at the 2009 championships and racked up numerous other titles in previous years.
Whitehorse’s Shermaine Chua, who won two bronze and a silver in open last year, punched that up to two gold and a silver over the weekend.
Chua defeated Nathalie Dugas in the women’s singles final, won the women’s doubles with partner Emily Knickle and bagged silver in mixed doubles with Sharma.
“There were a few of the stronger players who weren’t in town, who couldn’t make it back in time,” said Chua. “So I think that had a bit of an impact.
“I think the singles (title) was a bit harder to get because I think I ended up having to play eight games in a row.”
At 16, Chua was eligible to play in a junior division but likes the tougher competition in the open division, she said. She won the under-16 girls title at her first Yukon championship in 2011.
Whitehorse’s Peter Jensen was the only player other than Carlson to win three gold last year. This year he left with two.
Jensen defeated Joe Wallingham in the under-19 boys singles final and partnered up with Clayton Mervyn to win in doubles, beating his brother Trygg Jensen and Wallingham in the final.
Jensen represented the Yukon at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games and helped his squad win a bronze in the team event.
The under-14 division was the largest at the championships with about 18 girls and 23 boys competing.
“There wasn’t as many people in the open division, but there was a lot in the U14 division, which is a good thing for the future,” said Carlson, who was also the tournament organizer. “That’s always a good thing: that the younger kids are still interested and want to be involved.”
Another Jensen was tough to beat in under-14. Line Jensen won silver in the girls singles behind Thea Carey and gold in both doubles divisions.
Line won the girls doubles with Kataya Ulrich and the mixed doubles with Mannie Sharma.
“Peter and Trygg have been dominating over the past few years, and now Line as well this year,” said Carlson.
Eighty-five players competed at this year’s championship, about 15 less than last year.
Gold – Shermaine Chua
Silver – Nathalie Dugas
Gold – Jason Carlson
Silver – Sandeep Sharma
Bronze – Afsal Djearam
Gold – Shermaine Chua and Emily Knickle
Silver – Tessie Aujla and Ilze Pretorius
Gold – Jason Carlson and Jerry Lum
Silver – Sandeep Sharma and Afsal Djearam
Bronze – Michael Muller and Casey Parker
Gold – Abbie Rotondi and Jason Carlson
Silver – Shermaine Chua and Sandeep Sharma
Bronze – Jenny Darling and Casey Parker
Gold – Taneshia Jules
Gold – Peter Jensen
Silver – Joe Wallingham
Gold – Peter Jensen and Clayton Mervyn
Silver – Trygg Jensen and Joe Wallingham
Gold – Emily Knickle and Joe Wallingham
Silver – Hanna Wirth and Trygg Jensen
Bronze – Delaney Paul and Bradon Lefler
Gold – Delaney Paul
Silver – Sarah Ott
Bronze – Taneshia Jules
Gold – Trygg Jensen
Silver – Benjamin Grundmanis
Bronze – Zach Heynen
Gold – Delaney Paul and Hanna Wirth
Silver – Taneshia Jules and Aleshia Kremer
Gold – Allen Mark and Galen Clarke
Silver – Pierre Lefebvre and Bradon Lefler
Bronze – Zach Heynen and Will Sternberg
Gold – Thea Carey
Silver – Line Jensen
Bronze – Destiny Taylor
Gold – Adrian Robinson
Silver – Mannie Sharma
Bronze – Carl Knickle
Gold – Line Jensen and Kataya Ulrich
Silver – Shania Hogan and Destiny Taylor
Bronze – Thea Carey and Mia Greenough
Gold – Carl Knickle and Adrian Robinson
Silver – Liam Mather and Vincent Menard
Bronze – Ritik Sharma and Rohit Sharma
Gold – Line Jensen and Mannie Sharma
Silver – Czarina Lubi and Akshay Malhotra
Bronze – Alison Hill and Justin Wishart-Macdougall
Gold – Ritik Sharma
Silver – Rohit Sharma
Bronze – Dawson Weir
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