U.S. into the Quarterfinals at Santiago 2023 Pan American Games
Badminton competition continued on Sunday, October 22, at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. The American athletes found great success throughout the day, as Team USA will have athletes in competing in the quarterfinals in all five events on October 23.
Men’s singles athlete Howard Shu kicked off the competition again in the morning, facing Ecuador’s Henry Alejandro Huebla Leon. The first was close but Shu pulled through in the end for a 23-21 win.
“I came out a little slow in the first game,” he said of the first game. “My opponent had some consecutive opportune points which broke my momentum but I was extremely focused to close out the first game.”
Shu carried that regained momentum into the second game, where he won 21-8. “I felt the court open up and I also knew that my opponent was a little tired already because he was playing too much aggressive offense in the first set and it expended quite a bit of energy,” Shu said.
“I’m very excited to be in the quarterfinals,” he said. “But obviously as the field gets smaller, the opponents get tougher and tomorrow is no different. I’ll be facing the 3/4 seeded player in the draw and I’m quite familiar with his game. He is very physical so I definitely need to be well-prepared. For now, I will take the time to rest well and prepare my body as much as I can for the match tomorrow.”
In women’s singles, Beiwen Zhang faced Brazil’s Samia Raquel Passos Lima. Zhang was in control through both games, winning 21-14 and 21-6.
Also in women’s singles, Jennie Gai faced Jamaica’s Tahlia Richardson, defeating the Jamaican 21-14 and 21-5. “Still getting used to the shuttle speed and the court lighting so hopefully the next matches are better,” Gai said after her match.
In men’s doubles, Joshua Yuan and Vinson Chiu defeated El Salvador’s Manual Alfonso Mejia Ramirez and Javier Armando Alas Alas, 21-6 and 21-10.
In women’s doubles, Annie Xu and Kerry Xu defeated Argentina’s Ailen Romina Oliva and Iona Angelina Gualdi, 21-6 and 21-5. “We’re happy to have played our first ever Pan American Games match and we’re excited for the next one,” Annie said.
In mixed doubles, Jennie Gai and Vinson Chiu defeated Peru’s Diego Alonso Mini Cuadros and Paula Lucia La Torre Regal, 21-5 and 21-6.
On Monday, October 23, seven U.S. badminton athletes will compete in the quarterfinals.
At 6:20 AM Pacific time, women’s singles athlete Beiwen Zhang will face Guatemalan Nikté Sotomayor Ovando, who is competing as part of the Independent Athletes Team. Jennie Gai will also play at 6:20 AM Pacific time, facing Canada’s Eliana Zhang.
At 7:00 AM Pacific time, men’s singles athlete Howard Shu will face El Salvador’s Uriel Francisco Canjura Artiga.
In the afternoon at 1:00 PM Pacific time, women’s doubles athletes Annie Xu and Kerry Xu face Guatemala’s Diane Alejandra Corleto Soto and Nikté Sotomayor Ovando, who are competing under the Independent Athletes Team. Also at 1:00 PM Pacific, men’s doubles athletes Joshua Yuan and Vinson Chiu face Brazil’s Davi Carvalho Marinho Da Silva and Fabricio Ruan Rocha Farias.
At 3:40 PM, mixed doubles athletes Jennie Gai and Vinson Chiu face Ecuador’s Maria Delia Zambrano Solano and Henry Alejandro Huebla Leon.
Click here for Pan Am Sports’ streaming coverage.
(Photos by Badminton Pan Am.)