For Immediate Release
November 21, 2011
Eva Lee and Paula Lynn Obanana Win Gold in Women’s Doubles at Norwegian International 2011 Badminton Championships
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Eva Lee (Orange, Calif.) and Paula Lynn Obanana (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn./Mountain View, Calif.) gained valuable Olympic qualifying points this weekend and notched a key victory on their road to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England, winning the gold medal in women’s doubles at the Norwegian International 2011 Badminton Championships in Oslo, Norway. Lee also advanced to the quarterfinals in mixed doubles with Halim Haryanto Ho (West Covina, Calif./Milpitas, Calif.).
For complete brackets and results from the Norwegian International 2011 Badminton Championships please visit: http://www.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/tournament.aspx?id=052B9509-9FE0-4D3D-885C-E8B0ACA6E0FB
Lee is attempting to make her second United States Olympic Team. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, she qualified for and competed in women’s singles and women’s doubles with Mesinee “May” Mangkalakiri (Orange, Calif.) who has since retired from active elite competition. Lee has since teamed up with Obanana in women’s doubles and Ho in mixed doubles in hopes of earning a return trip to the Olympic Games, this time in 2012 in London, England. Obanana and Ho both became U.S. citizens in the summer of 2011 with Obanana receiving her U.S. citizenship in May 2011 and Ho being sworn in as a United States citizen on September 6, 2011.
Obanana, a member of the Philippine National Badminton Team from 1997-2005, immigrated to the United States with her family in 2005, settling in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn. area. She moved to northern California to pursue her dream of coaching and playing competitive badminton again. She helped coach the U.S. teams that competed in the 2009 and 2010 Pan American Junior Badminton Championship in Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, respectively. The team also went on to compete in the 2010 World Junior Badminton Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Ho first immigrated to the United States of America to pursue a career in coaching. Besides winning the gold medal in men’s doubles with Gunawan at the 2001 World Badminton Championships, Ho won numerous gold, silver and bronze medals for Indonesia at international events until resigning from the Indonesia National Badminton Team in October 2004. He immigrated to the United States of America in the fall of 2004 and began coaching at the Bay Badminton Center in Burlingame, Calif. upon his arrival in the United States in late 2004. He has reached the highest level of coaching certification in the U.S. as a Level 4 Certified High Performance Coach for USA Badminton, while remaining competitive on the international level as a player.
Lee, Obanana and Ho are among USA Badminton’s top athletes currently on a worldwide tour in the midst of the 2012 Olympic qualifying season which began on May 1, 2011 and concludes on April 30, 2012. Participation in the Olympic Games is solely determined by an athlete’s international ranking. Five badminton events will be contested at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England; men’s doubles, women’s doubles, men’s singles, women’s singles and mixed doubles.
For more information, please contact Cecil Bleiker, NGB Media Services Director for USA Badminton at 719-330-2062. This press release is also available on the USOC’s media specific website at PRESSBOX.TEAMUSA.ORG.