Eagles win first national title in badminton

The Kwantlen Eagles will be able to raise their second banner of the season.

Kwantlen will raise their first CCAA banner thanks to the success of Jensen Ly and Ashley Jang at the badminton national championships in the mixed doubles division.

By Kyle Benning
[news editor]

Photo courtesy of Kwantlen Athletics

The Kwantlen Eagles will be able to raise their second banner of the season after Jensen Ly and Ashley Jang brought home the Canadian Colleges Athletics Association (CCAA) National Badminton Championships in mixed doubles.

After losing their first match, the Kwantlen duo went on to win the next five games to advance to the final, where they faced the championship favourites out of Northern Alberta Institute of Technology: Sinead Cheah and Joey Vandervet. Ly and Jang won the game in straight sets 21-17 and 21-12.

“It feels good,” Ly said. “I had a disappointing year last year at Nationals in mixed doubles. Coming into the final, we reminded ourselves that we could play on par with them.”

This is Jang’s second national medal. She finished third in women’s doubles in Alberta at last year’s national championships.

“Jensen [Ly] really supported me when my knee started to hurt in the game,” admitted Jang. “He gave me the confidence that I could do it. Jensen [Ly] and I just wanted to play best. We stayed up late talking about our strategy because we wanted to get the banner for Kwantlen.”

It is the first national banner in Kwantlen’s history and the first banner for the badminton team.

Five Eagles made the trip to New Brunswick for the championships, and they were all part of the British Columbia Colleges Athletic Association Wild Card team because of success at the provincial championships in February.

Despite taking their first game to a third round, Ly and Jang couldn’t keep a clean record. They lost their first match to Johnny Tran and Julie Shell, who represented St. Clair College from Windsor, Ontario.

The match was decided in the final round, and Ly and Jang lost by a mere five points.

But they pulled it together for the next six to end with the banner. Elise Le Brun, Kwantlen’s director of athletics and recreation said, “They have great chemistry on the court, and their success at Nationals is a celebration of their hard work and the support provided by their Kwantlen coaches and teammates. It’s a fantastic finish to their season, and winning our first CCAA national banner is a tremendous accomplishment for our university.”