It was another very successful day for the U.S. Badminton team in Pan Am Games competition as the Americans clinically extended their record to 11-1 in the tournament and advanced to the quarterfinals in all but one discipline.
In mixed doubles play, Howard Bach (San Francisco, Calif.) and Paula Lynn Obanana (Minneapolis, Minn.) defeated Nelson Javier and Vivieca Veronica (Dominican Republic), 21-7, 21-10, and Halim Haryanto Ho (West Covina, Calif.) and Eva Lee (Orange, Calif.) defeated Derrick Ng and Alex Bruce (Canada), 21-17, 21-9, to earn quarterfinal matches.
In women’s singles play, Iris Wang (Arcadia, Calif.) defeated Crystal Leefmans (Suriname), 21-10, 21-10, to set up a quarterfinal meeting with top-seeded Li Michelle of Canada. Rena Wang (Arcadia, Calif.) fell behind early in game one but came back to defeat Luana Vicente (Brazil), 21-18, 21-8.
“I feel really good because I got my touch back and felt comfortable in the match,” said Wang. “First game I was too nervous but found my focus and I am playing well. The goal now is to make it to the finals in singles and doubles.”
The only setback of the day came in the men’s singles draw where Sattawat Pongnairat (Long Beach, Calif.) lost to Pedro Yang (Guatemala), 21-14, 13-21, 21-16, in a tight, three-game match.
In women’s doubles, Iris and Rena Wang defeated Pamela Saravia and Nicte Alejandra Sotomayor (Guatemala), 21-7, 21-6, and Eva Lee and Paula Lynn Obanana defeated Lohaynny Vicente and Luana Vicente (Brazil), 21-7, 21-11.
To close out the day, the doubles pairs of Bach and Tony Gunawan (Los Angeles, Calif.) handily defeated Gareth Henry and Charles Pyne (Jamaica), 21-12, 21-5, while Ho and Pongnairat defeated Antonio Da Vinatea and Martin Del Valle (Peru), 17-21, 21-15, 21-13, to make the quarterfinals.
All of the quarterfinal matches will be contested Monday (Oct. 17) in the main gymnasium.