Shannon was one of the coaches for Team USA at the Pan American Junior Badminton Championships in Guatemala City, Guatemala from July 21-29th.
The Under 19 Junior National US Team won all of it’s team matches to take the Team Gold Medal. They beat Brazil in the final 3-1. This was the first Gold Medal in the Team event since 2010, which was also the last time Shannon had the pleasure of being part of the coaching staff.
Individual events were held in girls singles, girls doubles, boys singles, boys doubles, and mixed doubles in all age groups from Under 11 up through Under 19. In the individual events the total medals won by the United States players included 22 Gold, 19 Silver and 26 Bronze in the 25 events. Congratulations to all the players, coaches, managers, parents, and clubs on this incredible performance!
Not only did American players have fun on the court, but players and their families also had got to learn about Guatemalan culture, trying the local Guatemalan cuisine, touring nearby Antigua, visiting local artisan markets, and watching the dancers, musicians and soldiers in the Opening Ceremony.
Many of you are probably wondering how to qualify for this impressive team! Here’s how . . . Earlier this year, the top ranked players in the country in all age groups competed in the Junior International Trials (JIT) in California for an opportunity to qualify for the US junior team. At the JIT, players are competing to be one of the four singles spots, four mixed spots, and two doubles spots per event to qualify for the Jr. Pan American Championships. JIT and the Jr. Pan American Championships are events that are held annually. Only players with very high Junior National Rankings are qualified to try-out in the JIT. There were no players from the Midwest Region who qualified for the Pan Am Junior Championships this year, but with more Midwesterners entering the Junior National Rankings, we hope to see SPBA players at Jr. Nationals, JIT and the Pan Am Junior Championships in the future!
See tons of photos from this exciting event here!