For Immediate Release
July 8, 2012
USA Badminton Athletes Win Three Medals at the 2012 U.S. Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton Championships in Orange, Calif.
ORANGE, Calif. – USA Badminton’s athletes performed exceptionally well at the 2012 U.S. Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton Championships winning three medals (one gold and two bronze). This final major preparation event prior to the 2012 Olympic Games started on July 3rd and concluded late night Saturday night, July 7th at the Orange County Badminton Club in Orange, Calif.
Howard Bach (San Francisco, Calif./Anaheim, Calif.) and Tony Gunawan (West Covina, Calif.), America’s best hope for an Olympic medal next month at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England, won the bronze medal in men’s doubles at this year’s U.S. Open. Bach and Gunawan rolled through the competition until they met up against the Japanese team of Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa who went on to win the gold medal after defeating Bach and Gunawan in the semifinals two games to none (19-21 and 14-21).
Gunawan won the lone gold medal at the U.S. Open for the U.S. in mixed doubles as he teamed up with his former country woman Vita Marissa of Indonesia. Bach paired with his 2008 U.S. Olympic teammate Eva Lee (Orange, Calif.) to win the bronze medal in mixed doubles with their only loss coming in the semifinals to Gunawan and Marissa.
Rena Wang (Arcadia, Calif.), the third and final U.S. athlete qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England competed in women’s singles and women’s doubles with her sister Iris Wang (Arcadia, Calif.). Wang won her first round match in women’s singles before being eliminated in the second round. In women’s doubles, Rena and Iris made it to the quarterfinals before falling to Valeri Sorokina and Nina Vislova of Russia who went on to win the silver medal.
Numerous other athletes played hard and represented USA Badminton well, but did not advance to the medal rounds.
The 2012 U.S. Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton Championships provided an excellent opportunity for Howard Bach, Tony Gunawan and Rena Wang to sharpen their skills against top international competition in their hometown just three weeks prior to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. Badminton competition will begin on July 28 and conclude on August 5th at the historic Wembley Arena. Competition will be held in women’s singles, men’s singles, women’s doubles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles. The United States has qualified in women’s singles with Wang and men’s doubles with Bach and Gunawan. Ben Lee (San Jose, Calif.) will serve as head coach for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Badminton Team.
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.