| Manitoban Chen Wins Bronze at 2019 Junior Pan Am Championships|
Athletes Kiren Deraj, Anson Chen, and Coach Elliott Beals, all who hail from the Winnipeg Winter Club, made Manitoba and Canada proud at the 2019 Junior Pan Am Badminton Championships which ran from July 12th to 20th in Moncton, New Brunswick. Most notably Anson Chen (U11 Boys Singles) is bringing home a bronze medal, while Kiren Deraj (U19 Boys Singles) won his first match before bowing out, and Elliott Beals was learning lots along national team coaches at his first Jr Pan Ams!
Anson Chen, age 9, received a bronze medal competing in the U11 Boys Singles category. He beat Sebastian Callo (Peru), 22-20, 11-4 (retired) and then lost to the eventual silver medallist John Fu (Canada) 21-14, 21-9. Although Anson said it felt amazing to win a bronze, his goal “…going forward is to make it to the national team again and win the gold”.
Kiren Deraj, age 17, made the round of 16 in the U19 Boys Singles Category. He beat out Bryan Rodrigo Roque Caycho (Peru) in two sets of 21-19 21-18, but was sadly defeated by Rafael Faria (Brazil), 21-16 21-13. Going into the Games, he felt a mix of nervousness and excitement, as he and Anson were the only two Manitobans to represent Canada as athletes. Citing provincial pride Kiren said, “I would wear the team Manitoba Sweater… most of the time [he was there]”. Kiren was unsatisfied with his performance, however it has only made him want to work even harder to accomplish his goals, including medalling at the 2020 Jr Pan Ams and making the world junior team for next year.
Elliott Beals, a native of Nova Scotia, moved to Manitoba a year ago to take over the position of head coach at the Winnipeg Winter Club. A year later, and he was selected to coach the Canadian team at the Jr Pan Ams. He has been coaching for around 20 years, and like Anson and Kiren, this was his first time attending the Jr Pan Ams. Elliott was very proud of having two of his athletes from the Winnipeg Winter Club representing Canada, being his first year as the head coach. His focus for his athletes leading up to the games was to “… try to represent themselves as best as possible, play as well as they can no matter what the outcome was – when they left the court they knew, I put my best effort forward”. Elliott looks forward to coaching Team Canada again in the future.
The event brought together athletes from North and South America, including players from Canada, the US, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Guatemala and more. Canada performed well at the games, winning gold in 4 out of 5 events in the U19 and U17 categories, sweeping the U11 categories and winning a gold in the U13 and U15 categories. Canada also beat USA 3-0 in the final of the team event to clinch a second consecutive gold medal.
Anson Chen and his coach Elliott Beals
For more information, please contact:
Executive Director, Manitoba Badminton Association