Another historic moment for Redeemer, its badminton program and student athlete Owen Kurvits. It is back-to-back National medals for Redeemer University College as Kurvits claimed the silver medal today at the National Badminton Championships in Nanaimo, British Columbia.
Kurvits advanced to the Championship Final after a strong opening two days in the event. Rolling through the round robin with a 4-1 record, Kurvits then defeated Graydon Robb in straight sets in the semi’s.
The CCAA Gold medal match was a rematch of this years OCAA Championship final. Kurvits once again squared off against Wanchao Shi of Seneca College. Shi had defeated Redeemer’s Kurvits 3 times this season, twice in the OCAA Championships and once in the CCAA Championship. Despite an incredible effort by Owen, Saturday was not the day that he would break the streak as Shi claimed his 4th win against Redeemer. It was a tough battle against the top player at the event and also a battle with an injured hand that proved to cause discomfort for Kurvits as it routinely needed to be taped up to stop it from bleeding.
As the season comes to an end for Kurvits, it is one that will go down in the history books as one of the best ever. An OCAA Silver medal, first team all-star recognition, an OCAA Player of the Year award, A CCAA All-Canadian award, and now a CCAA Silver medal, is an incredible set of accomplishments for Kurvits in just his third year with the Royals. With another Provincial and National medal to add to those of 2014 and 2015, Kurvits has quickly become the most decorated Redeemer athlete of all time.
The 2016 Championships were also the first time in Redeemer’s history that the program competed in multiple disciplines at the CCAA finals. Joining Kurvits was Redeemer’s men’s doubles duo of Ryan Phan and Kevin Barkman. The pair gained some valuable experience as they claimed a 4th place finish at the Championships. For both Phan and Barkman, it was their first time at the National event as they are both in their rookie season with the Royals.
The team finished tied for second after the round robin, but fell to fourth by way of a tiebreaker. A difficult path to a medal, Redeemer had to go through the eventual National Champions in the semi’s (OCAA 1 Dong/Chow), and then a very good team from Alberta (Ko/Roque) in the bronze final.
The full results can be found online at ccaa.ca. Kurvits was also featured in The Hamilton Spectator.