Boys singles badminton: Yang wins first two rounds

James Yu follows in sister's footsteps; she competed in previous BC Games

Alina Konevski

Black Press

B.C.’s top-ranked young badminton player, Lee Daryl Yang, easily won his first two rounds of his first ever B.C. Winter Games. The game is played best two out of three, and Yang’s quarter final score was 21-8 and 21-6 for the two games. He moves on to the semi-finals at Hatzic Secondary on Friday.The 13-year-old student from Surrey’s Fraser Heights Secondary immigrated to B.C. just last year from the Philippines, where he has been playing competitive badminton for several years. Playing in thePhilippines was not so different from here, he says, except that players train for much longer. That’s what has catapulted him into top place in B.C. so quickly, he explains.“Training in the Philippines is much harder,” he said. “The coach is very strict. In the summer, you train day and night, day and night. Here it is just two hours a day.”When Yang can’t get to a court, he trains at home by running, jumping rope, and doing push-ups.The games in the Philippines are also more intense, with more competitive players and spectators yelling from the stands.The quiet Yang has found the sport to be a great way to make new friends in his new country.“I’m really shy in my life, but when I play badminton, I meet new friends,” said Yang.“When I was a kid, I was forced to play badminton. But then I won my first tournament, and I liked it.”He is hoping to stay in the game for a long time to come.The games brought players together from all over the province, some of whom have never seen this side of the country before.James Yu, a Grade 7 student from Lakewood Elementary school, drove out from Prince George with his parents to participate in the games. It is the family’s first time in Mission, and mother Stella Lo was enjoying watching her son play.“This is the first time for him. We want to support him. I want to inspire him,” she said.Yu has been playing badminton for a couple of years, following in the footsteps of his sister, who has been at B.C. Games in previous years.All four seeded players in boys’ singles badminton – Yang, Jordan Beatty, Victor Huang, and Ryan Liu – moved on to the quarter finals as of 11 a.m. on Friday.

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