U.S. in Three Semifinal Events at Santiago 2023 Pan American Games
Badminton play is coming to an end soon at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games as U.S. athletes played in the quarterfinals in Santiago, Chile. At the end of play on October 23, the U.S. has made it into the semifinals in three events in Santiago, Chile.
In the morning session, women’s singles athlete Beiwen Zhang faced Guatemalan Nikté Sotomayor Ovando, who is competing as part of the Independent Athletes Team. Zhang won 21-8 and 21-6.
Women’s singles athlete Jennie Gai faced Canada’s Eliana Zhang. Gai won the first game 21-12 and fought off a fierce Canadian comeback to win the second game 21-18.
“It was a tiring match but I’m happy to have earned a medal and looking forward to tomorrow’s matches,” Gai said afterwards.
Men’s singles athlete Howard Shu faced a tough opponent in El Salvador’s Uriel Francisco Canjura Artiga. Shu fell to the El Salvadorian athlete, 12-21 and 3-21.
“This is not how I wanted to finish my last Pan Am Games and I am pretty disappointed in the result here,” Shu said. “Unfortunately I suffered a bad ankle sprain on the first day that really took away all of my mobility and ability to move on court. I didn’t want my opponents to know about the injury but it just got too difficult to play at the level that I wanted to. Along with the coaches, instead of retiring from the tournament, we decided to finish the quarterfinals match but not push any further. Thanks to all of the amazing USOPC medical, we have already been on top of the recovery and will be back on court as soon as possible. In the meantime, I will be cheering on the rest of my teammates. Go Team USA!”
Women’s doubles athletes Annie Xu and Kerry Xu faced Guatemala’s Diane Alejandra Corleto Soto and Nikté Sotomayor Ovando, who are competing under the Independent Athletes Team. The Xu sisters defeated the Guatemalans, 21-8 and 21-6.
In men’s doubles, Joshua Yuan and Vinson Chiu went three tough games against Brazil’s Davi Carvalho Marinho Da Silva and Fabricio Ruan Rocha Farias. The Americans narrowly lost the first game 19-21 before pulling through in the second game 21-15. The third game was highly contested with both pairs swapping the lead throughout the match but it ended in a tough loss 18-21 for the U.S. pair.
“In high pressure situations, it’s usually the one who keeps their cool that will win and today it was them,” Chiu said. “But overall it was a valuable experience for us.”
In mixed doubles, Jennie Gai and Vinson Chiu defeated Ecuador’s Maria Delia Zambrano Solano and Henry Alejandro Huebla Leon in two straight games, 21-8 and 21-8.
The semifinals will take place on October 24, 2023.
At 5:00 AM Pacific time, Jennie Gai starts off the morning session facing Cuba’s Taymara Oropesa Pupo in women’s singles.
In the fourth match of the morning session, Annie Xu and Kerry Xu face Brazil’s Juliana Viana Vieira and Sania Valeria Passos Lima.
At 1:00 PM Pacific time, Beiwen Zhang faces Canada’s Rachel Jun Ling Chan in women’s singles to start off the afternoon session.
In the third match of the afternoon session, mixed doubles pair Jennie Gai and Vinson Chiu face Brazil’s Davi Carvalho Marinho Da Silva and Sania Valeria Passos Lima.
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(Photos by Badminton Pan Am.)