COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Looking to recapture the magic that carried them to a first-ever World Championship title in 2005; Howard Bach (San Francisco, Calif./Orange, Calif.) and Tony Gunawan Orange, Calif.) have once again teamed up in men's doubles on the international scene for the first time since that historic season. This time they have hopes of carrying the magic through to the 2012 Olympic Games, with Gunawan on track to gain his U.S. citizenship in 2011.
Competing at the 2009 World Badminton Championships this week in Hyderabad, India, Bach and Gunawan proved that they have not lost their chemistry, defeating three quality teams, including the world's number five ranked team en-route to the quarterfinals. Bach and Gunawan met the world's number two ranked team in Malaysia's Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong in the quarterfinals. Bach and Gunawan played a tough match, but fell two games to one (20-22, 21-13 and 17-21).
Bach and Gunawan kicked off the 2009 World Championships by defeating Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah of Malaysia two games to one (21-15, 18-21 and 23-21) in the first round. Next up, Bach and Gunawan cruised to an two games to none (21-10, 21-9) victory over Japan's Ikeda Shintaro and Sakamoto Shuichi. For their most impressive match of the tournament, Bach and Gunawan defeated the number five ranked team in the world in Denmark's Boe Mathias and Mogensen Carsten two games to none (21-18, 21-18).
Planning their 2009 season to gauge how they wanted to proceed with their competitive badminton careers, Bach and Gunawan now have their goal in sight, the medal podium at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. The duo made history in 2005 when they won the gold medal at the 2005 World Badminton Championships in Anaheim, Calif. Never before had a USA Badminton athlete won a medal at a World Championship or Olympic competiton. With Gunawan, the 2000 Olympic gold medalist for Indonesia, on track to be granted U.S. citizenship in 2011, the dream of an Olympic gold medal in badminton for the United States is not as far-fetched as some might think.
A two-time U.S. Olympian (2000 and 2004), Bach teamed with the now retired Bob Malaythong (Rockville, Md./Orange, Calif.) to reach the quarterfinals of the 2008 Olympic Games badminton tournament in Beijing, China, marking the best Olympic performance for any USA Badminton athlete in history. Now with this and three more years to prepare with Gunawan, the future is certainly bright and the potential limitless for Bach and Gunawan.
Other U.S. athletes competing in the 2009 World Badminton Championships, Shannon Pohl in women's singles and Matt Fogarty and Dean Schoppe in men's doubles all lost in the first round. Fogarty and Schoppe lost zero games to two (5-21, 9-21) to South Korea's Cho Gun Woo and Yoo Yeon Seong. Pohl's fate was similar, also losing zero games to two (4-21, 6-21) to Malaysia's Wong Mew Choo.
For complete brackets and results, please visit www.tournamentsoftware.com.
For more information, please contact Cecil Bleiker, NGB Media Services Director for USA Badminton at 719-866-4608. This press release is also available on the USOC's media specific website at www.usocpressbox.org.