For three days last weekend, the game of badminton took over Prince George with the 2015 North Central Badminton Tournament taking place from April 10 – 12, hosted by North Court Badminton and the College of New Caledonia.
Tam Tran, 22 and Jonathan Barton, 23, making possibly the longest trek to arrive, competed and came away with some success against very tough area opponents.
“It was fun; it was good experience,” said Tran last week.
The Rupert duo got off to a fast start on Saturday when Tran faced off against Chris Wadson, a strong Prince George player, who defeated Tran 21-9, 21-10 in the men’s open singles competitive division.
Kevin Tam was able to squeeze past Barton in the same event, 21-13, 21-16.
The competition was so tough, that the winner of the men’s singles open draw was Jeremy Cote, a former Badminton Victoria head coach and a national competitor.
Then, in the singles open men’s plate, Gene Johnston got past Tran, 21-10, 21-12. With a chance at revenge for his playing partner, Barton faced off against Johnston in the semifinals but lost 21-8, 21-16, playing much better in the second set.
“We did OK. There were really tough players there and we tried our best,” said Tran, adding that the duo stayed in Barton’s brother’s home for the duration of the weekend and explored and had fun in the evening between days.
“There was a banquet that they had, but we decided to go downtown and do our own thing,” said Tran.
On Sunday, in the doubles open men’s Group B, Barton and Tram took to the court and faced the Prince George Racquet Club’s Lance Gordon and Kevin Tam and fell to the locals 21-15, 21-14 in a hard-fought affair. They finished off the draw with a match against Prince George’s Malachi Rustad and Wadson who took the match 21-18, 21-14.
The Rupertites finished the weekend with a match against a strong ladies’ side looking to gain more experience versus the men, and Tran and Barton ended up victorious in a close bout, 21-16, 21-19 versus Rea Barber and Lisa Davison.
“There was just a few people from out of town,” said Tran.
“We would definitely go again next year if they held it.”