Good Wins for USA Teams
by Widya Susanto
The 2012 Thomas and Uber Cups Qualifying (TUCQ) Pan Am Preliminary was held from February 17 to 19, 2012, in the Los Angeles Badminton Club (LABC), an Olympic qualified badminton venue, that was just built specifically to host world class tournaments such as this one.
Eight Pan Am countries participated in the Thomas Cup TUCQ including Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Guatemala, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Suriname, and USA.
In the pool play competitions, USA team played and earned its spots in the second stage of the competition - finishing second place in the pool, losing only to Guatemala team.
The USA team beat the Canada team in the Semi Finals without much difficulties, winning 3-0, advancing to the Final, and must face the Guatemala team once again.
USA team knew that the Final wasn't going to be easy since they lost all three Men Single matches to Guatemala just the day before. In the first Men Single match, despite best effort from Sattawat Pongnairat, he must submit to Kevin Cordon in two games 22-20, 21-14. The second Men Single, Howard Shu faced Rodolfo Ramires and amazingly played flawlessly and won in two games 21-14, 21-14. This win turned out to be a winning key for USA team. In the next line up, the second Mens Double, Howard Bach and Sattawat Pongnairat beat Anibal Marroquin and Jonathan Solis easily 21-12, 21-5.
Nicholas Jinadasa played in third Men Single against Heymard Humbler whom he lost to just the day before. Nicholas appeared to be much more composed and able to overcome his opponent in three matches 21-6, 19-21, 21-19.
With the third win, there was no need to play the fourth event where Tony Gunawan would be paired with Phillip Chew. USA team won its right to the Thomas Cup Finals in Wuhan China in May 2012.
The Uber Cup TUCQ was participated by five countries: Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Puerto Rico, and USA. The USA Uber Cup team played the other four countries in a Round Robin format in the three days competition. After winning three ties, USA faced seeded number one Canada team on the final day.
Rena Wang played in first Women Single and lost to Michelle Li in two very close games 19-21, 20-22. Second Women Single was played by Iris Wang who defeated Joycelyn Ko 22-20, 21-14. Jamie Subandhi played in third single against Christin Tsai in three exciting games and lost 21-17, 19-21, and 9-21.
USA Uber Cup team is down 2-1 at this point and found itself in a must win situation. Eva Lee and Paula Obanana played the first Women double against their nemesis Michell Li and Alex Bruce. This is one of most thrilling matches in the tournament, as the match went to third game, USA pair won by a close margin 21-17, 19-21, 23-21.
In the deciding match, the second doubles was played by Jamie Subandhi and Rena Wang against Joycelyn Ko and Grace Gao. The USA pair appeared to be too strong and won in an easy two games of 21-6, 21-8.
The USA Uber Cup team also earned the ticket to Uber Cup finals in Wuhan, China.