Seniors Go For Gold at OCBC!
In conjunction with the 2008 Yonex/OCBC U.S. Open Grand Prix Championships, the 2008 Senior International Badminton Championships were held July 11-13 at the Orange County Badminton Club. Seventy-eight players from the USA, Canada, Germany, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Thailand did battle during the day while the U.S. Open matches were played in the evenings. The tournament is unique because players' ages are added to qualify for the various age group events. Besides the regular singles events, doubles events included 80MD to 130MD, 80WD, 90WD, 100WD, 130WD, and 80XD to 130XD. For the doubles and mixed events, partners' ages must add to the number of the event.
The Men's Singles events were hard-fought in every age group. Winners included Jochen Heumos from Germany in the 40MS; Renato Reyes from the Philippines over Geoff Stensland in the 45MS, 21-11, 21-14; Imre Bereknyei over Emilio Adarna of the Philippines in 50MS in a marathon final, 21-23, 21-15, 21-14; Zi Min Cai in 55MS; David Carton in 60MS; and Manuel Armendariz in the 70MS. Joy Kitzmiller defeated Mary Jo Randall of Canada in the only women's singles event, 40WS, 21-18, 21-14.
Spectators were enthralled with the men's doubles events, and all the tough play of the sparring teams. In 80MD, Jack Soong/Joseph Tok defeated Solaiman Jonatan/Geoff Stensland in the final match, 21-13, 21-18. Jonatan/Tok were victorious in the 90MD over Tahir Ishaq/Tariq Wadood, 16-21, 21-18, 21-18. You might recognize the name of Tariq Wadood-US National Champion in Men's Singles in 1987 and 1989, and Mixed Doubles in 1989 and 1991. It was great to see him on court again!
Zi Min Cai/Jonatan prevailed in the 100MD finals over Tok/Tac Vuong, and Tok/John Chan won the 110 MD over Ron Surya/Vuong. Chan teamed with Don Chew to win the 120MD over Vuong/Jonatan, 17-21, 21-10, 21-17. Murray Foubister/Dick Warnock were the victors in the 130MD round robin.
Cindy Briese/Joy Kitzmiller were victorious over Ann French Gonsalves/Mary Jo Randall in the 80WD, 21-18, 21-12. Gonsalves partnered Terry Lira to win the 90WD round robin. Sue Dommeyer/Randall took the 100WD over Briese/Judy Gray, 21-12, 21-18. Gray teamed with Karen Warnock to win the 130WD round robin.
In the mixed doubles events, Geoff Stensland/Kitzmiller won the 80XD round robin; Stensland/Gonsalves took the 90XD round robin; Imre Bereknyei/Mari Ikeda defeated Curt Dommeyer/Kitzmiller in the 100XD, 16-21, 21-16, 21-14; Canadians Ron Jordan/Mary Jo Randall won the 110XD round robin; Bob Cook/Sue Dommeyer prevailed in the 120XD round robin; and Bereknyei/Lee Calvert took home the gold in the 130XD round robin.
Congratulations to multiple title winners: Imre Bereknyei, 50MS, 100XD, and 130XD; John Chan, 110MD and 120MD; Ann Gonsalves, 90WD and 90XD; Solaiman Jonatan, 90MD and 100MD; Joy Kitzmiller, 40WS, 80WD, 80XD; Mary Jo Randall, 100WD and 110XD; Geoff Stensland, 80XD and 90XD; Joseph Tok, 80MD, 90MD, and 110MD; and Zi Min Cai, 55MS and 100MD.
Thanks to all the volunteers who helped with the tournament including Paisan Rangsikitpho, Don Chew, Kim Chew, Montri Chew, Gus Chew, the OCBC staff, Bob Cook, Dudley Chen, Dave Anderson, Ed Barnes, Dave Carton, Lee Calvert, Tim Mangkalakiri, Terry Lira, Dale Crawford, Elaine Kong, Ed Matanga, Peggy Savosik and Dan Cloppas of USA Badminton, and all the volunteers who served as umpires and linejudges. Thanks to Mari Ikeda, Senior Council chair, for her exciting ideas about the tournament and her participation in it!
Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to all who participated in the tournament. Put the 2009 U.S. Open on your calendar, and come to play and enjoy watching the international players in both tournaments!