Michelle Li defends badminton title, adds to Canada’s medal count
Canada’s Michelle Li is now a two-time Pan Am Games badminton champion.
She thrilled her hometown crowd at the Atos Markham Pan Am/Parapan Am Centre with a 2-0 victory over fellow Canadian Rachel Honderich in today’s women’s badminton final.
“It is tough to have to beat a friend,” Li said. “To see her lose, it’s not something I want. But I guess we’re both mature enough to know that when we’re on court, it’s for yourself.”
Li, who won gold four years ago at the 2011 Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, defeated Honderich 21-15, 21-9.
Li and Honderich teamed up together to win doubles bronze earlier in the week.
“It’s tough because we both know each other’s games so well,” Honderich said.
Canada’s Toby Ng and Alex Bruce settled for silver in the mixed doubles final. They dropped a 21-9, 21-23, 21-12 decision to Americans Phillip Chew and Jamie Subandhi.
Canadian Andrew d’Souza took silver in the men’s singles final after losing to Guatemala’s Kevin Cordon 21-13, 21-14.
“He didn’t let me really play at the net when I wanted to,” d’Souza said. “He didn’t let me take the attack. He’s very good at keeping his attack and I just had a lot of trouble getting out of it when I played him.”
Canada’s medal count rose to 89 with a few events remaining on Thursday’s schedule. The Canadians lead the medal haul at the Games once more after briefly falling behind the United States.
Canada has earned 36 gold, 33 silver and 20 bronze thus far.
The Canadians men’s and women’s team sprint teams took double gold in the first day of track cycling at the Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome.
Hugo Barrette of Cap-auxMeules, Que., Victoria’s Evan Carey and Joseph Veloce of St. Catharines. Ont., edged Venezuela in 44.241 seconds in the men’s race.
Kate O’Brien and Monique Sullivan topped Cuba in 33.959 seconds in the women’s team sprint to win Canada’s second gold of the night at the Velodrome.
In men’s golf, Canadian Austin Connelly was tied for fourth after shooting a 2-under 70 in the first round.
Teammate Garrett Rank was 27th at 7-over 79.
“They say you can’t win on the first day, but you can certainly lose it,” Connelly said. “I don’t feel like I lost it.”
Michelle Li reacts after beating fellow Canadian Rachel Honderich, right, in the women’s singles final in badminton at the Pan Am Games in Markham, Ont., Thursday.