COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – In the most recent Badminton World Federation Rankings, the USA Badminton men’s doubles team of Howard Bach (San Francisco, Calif./Orange, Calif.) and Tony Gunawan (Orange, Calif.) are ranked ninth, the highest ever ranking for a USA Badminton athlete. Fresh off the heels of their impressive silver medal performance at the 2010 Singapore Open Super Series badminton tournament, Bach and Gunawan continued their strong play reaching the quarterfinals of another Super Series event, this time the 2010 Indonesia Open Super Series, June 22-27. Super Series events are the top classification for an international event on the Badminton World Federation’s tournament circuit drawing the most elite badminton players in the world.
“It’s great that we’re having some success in the Super Series events and we’re proud we’re moving up the BWF rankings list,” said Bach. “We’re striving to consistently reach the finals of these events and win and will keep working towards that goal.”
In the quarterfinals Bach and Gunawan had a rematch with Chinese Taipei’s Chieh Min Fang and Sheng Mu Lee, the team that they fell to in the championship match of the Singapore Open. Feng and Lee, who, in Singapore, also defeated the 2008 Olympic Champions from Indonesia, Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan, again proved the better team dropping Bach and Gunawan two games to none (21-15 and 21-18).
Prior to bowing out in the quarterfinals, Bach and Gunawan racked up wins against Ruud Bosch and Koen Ridder of the Netherlands two games to none (21-9 and 21-19) and Indonesia’s Lingga Lie and Joko Riyadi two games to one (16-21, 21-13 and 21-17).
Bach and Gunawan made history when they teamed up in 2005 to win the first-ever World Championship gold medal for the United States of America in the sport of badminton. Their accomplishment put USA Badminton on the map and also earned the two the coveted United States Olympic Committee Team of the Year Award for 2005. What made the moment even sweeter was the fact that they were able to accomplish this feat in the United States as the 2005 World Badminton Championships were held in Anaheim, Calif. at the Arrowhead Pond, just down the road from the Orange County Badminton Club where Bach and Gunawan both train.
With Gunawan, a 2000 Olympic gold medalist for Indonesia in men’s doubles, not expected to receive his U.S. citizenship prior to the 2008 Olympic Games, Bach, a 2004 U.S. Olympian with Kevin Han, teamed with Bob Malaythong following the 2005 season to prepare for the 2008 Olympic campaign. In 2008, Bach again made history, this time with Malaythong as the team became the first USA Badminton athletes ever to reach the quarterfinal round in Olympic competition.
Following the 2008 Olympic Games with Gunawan anticipating becoming a U.S. citizen in 2011, it made for a tempting re-unification for Bach. Testing the waters for much of the 2009 season Bach and Gunawan re-united and found they still had some magic left. Fully committed as a team and currently ranked in the top 10 of the Badminton World Federation rankings, they have their sights set squarely on making more history and becoming the first USA Badminton athletes to stand on the Olympic medal podium at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.
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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 PRESSBOX.TEAMUSA.ORG.