Sark wins medals in singles, teams with Dyment in doubles
P.E.I.’s Nikeda Sark wins medals in singles, teams with Keely Dyment in doubles Friday at 2017 North American Indigenous Games in Toronto
Friday was a big day for badminton players Nikeda Sark and Keely Dyment.
Sark became P.E.I.’s first double-medallist at the 2017 North American Indigenous Games, winning bronze in singles and teaming with Dyment to win bronze in under-16 play at the Pan Am Sports Centre in Toronto.
“It feels amazing,” said Sark, 15. “I didn’t expect it.”
P.E.I. has now won three medals after Logen Lewis of Lennox Island won bronze in 3D archery on Thursday.
In singles, Sark defeated an opponent from Manitoba in two straight sets – 21-16, 21-7.
“It was pretty challenging,” said Sark, who will enter Grade 10 at Westisle Composite High School in September. “Once I found out her weak spot, I kind of focused on that.”
Sark, who began playing badminton in Grade 3, focused on a game plan of making sure she hit clean returns while waiting for her opponent to make mistakes.
“She kept clearing (from the back of the court), wearing her opponent down and it was a battle of attrition,” said P.E.I. badminton coach Robin Enman of Lennox Island.
In doubles, Sark and Dyment needed three sets to outlast their opponents from Manitoba 14-21, 21-13, 21-18.
“It’s amazing,” the 14-yearold Dyment said in describing the feeling of winning the medal. “It was challenging.”
Dyment said the team’s goals heading into the competition were to try its best “and see how far we make it.”
Dyment, who will enter Grade 9 at Hernewood Intermediate School in September, agreed it was “very” stressful playing in a nail-biting final match, especially with the third and deciding set so close.
However, Dyment credited strong communication on the court as a big factor for P.E.I.’s success.
“(We are talking) all the time, keeping each other up and keeping things positive,” she answered.
Both Dyment and Sark said they immediately thought of their families and teammates after their medal victories.
The bronze medals marked the end of a very busy week for P.E.I.’s badminton team.
Enman noted the team practised Sunday, played singles Monday, doubles Tuesday, mixed Wednesday, quarter-finals and semifinals were held on Thursday and the medal matches went on Friday.
“Oh my gosh, it’s been tiring,” said Sark, who noted the team practised two to three times a week, with each session lasting two hours, in preparation for the Games.
Enman said he was proud of how all the P.E.I. athletes performed.
“They got six days of badminton,” he said. “They are exhausted.”
Nikeda Sark, left, and Keely Dyment and won bronze medals for Team P.E.I. at the North American Indigenous Games on Friday.