By: Staff Writer Andrew Kan
The Badminton Junior International Trials (JIT) was held from March 25 to 28 at the Los Angeles Badminton Club in El Monte, CA to determine the US members of the 2016 Badminton World Federation World Junior Championships (WJC) and Pan American Junior Championships (PAJC) teams. Out of 182 contenders, five MSJ students ranked in the top positions and are eligible for the PAJC and WJC teams.
The JIT’s sole purpose is to establish the PAJC and WJC teams, and does not give US junior ranking points. It contained 25 events, and players were allowed to sign up for multiple events. There were five different age brackets: Under-11, Under-13, Under-15, Under-17, and Under-19, and each age bracket contained five different events: Boys’ Singles, Girls’ Singles, Boys’ Doubles, Girls’ Doubles, and Mixed Doubles’. Each event was separated into two or four draws, with each draw containing three to five participants. Each draw played a round robin, and then the top two seeds from each draw played in a four or eight contestant single-elimination group.
The number one seed from each Under-19 elimination group was placed onto both the PAJC and WJC teams. The top four singles players and top two doubles teams of each age bracket were chosen for the PAJC individual events. Similarly, the top three singles players and top two doubles teams of each Under-19 elimination group were selected for the WJC individual events. If a competitor won multiple events, then their runner-up took their position for an event.
Senior Brian Duong won second for Boys’ Doubles Under-19, and will be playing at PAJC and likely WJC. Sophomores Helen Wang and Christine Yu won second for Girls’ Doubles Under-17, and have qualified to attend PAJC. Sophomore Cindy Yuan won second for both Girls’ Singles Under-19 and Girls’ Doubles Under-19. Yuan has qualified to attend PAJC or WJC. Sophomore Joanna Liu won first for both Mixed Doubles Under-17 and Girls’ Singles Under-17, and will be competing at PAJC. Combined, these players went an impressive 26-15 in their matches.
The winners will be eligible to participate in PAJC from July 15 to 23 in Lima, Peru. At PAJC, they will have the opportunity to play against JIT winners from 16 other countries in the Americas. Duong and Yuan have also qualified for the WJC, which will be held from November 2 to 13 in Bilbao, Spain. Liu, who went 12-0, said, “PAJC is a much higher level of competition. My goal is to just try my best, especially in matches against players from Canada. Of course, ultimately I am aiming to get first.”
Photo Courtesy: Joanna Liu