Universiad​e: Olympian Bruce highlights Canadian badminton roster


Michel Belanger

June 13, 2013, (ISN) – The Kazan badminton tournament is scheduled for July 5 to 11. All finals are set for July 11 with the exception of the women’s and men’s team finals, which will be contested on July 7.

Canada’s lone previous appearance in the sport at the world university games dates back to 2007 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Highlighting the red and white roster heading to Russia is Alexandra Bruce of Toronto who, along with partner Michelle Li, finished fourth in women’s doubles at the 2012 Olympics, which marked the best Canadian result in history in badminton at the Games.

The 23-year-old Western University student is the reigning senior national champion in women’s doubles and also claimed gold in the event at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Rounding out the women’s lineup for the Kazan competition are Roxanne Fraser of Shawinigan, Que., Adrianna Giuffre of Calgary, Stephanie Pakenham of Quebec City and Bethany So of Sarnia, Ont.

On the men’s side, the six athletes who will wear the Maple Leaf are François Bourret of Loretteville, Que., Philippe Charron of Montreal, Philippe Gaumond of Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., Martin Giuffre of Calgary, Andrew Lau of Toronto, as well as Andrew Wilkinson, also of Toronto.

Bruce is not the only team member who has represented Canada internationally in recent years.

So, Fraser, Charron and Martin Giuffre competed at the 2012 FISU world university championships in Gwangju, South Korea, where Charron and Giuffre helped the Canadian men to a sixth-place finish in team competition.

Pakenham (2008), Martin Giuffre (2008), Lau (2010, 2011) and Wilkinson (2010) are all veterans of the world junior championships, while Bruce, Charron and Martin Giuffre were in Malaysia with the senior national squad last month for the Sudirman Cup (world mixed team championships).

Finally, six team members are either former or current under-23 national champions, including Bruce, Fraser, Pakenham, Charron, Gaumond and Martin Giuffre.

Summer Universiade website: www.kazan2013.com/en

Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/summer/2013  

“The 2012 world university championships in Korea marked the first time we sent athletes to compete in both the individual and team events. It was such a tremendous experience that we certainly didn’t hesitate to consider the Universiade in Kazan,” said Canadian national team coach Stephane Cadieux, who will lead the contingent in Russia. “All 11 athletes have represented Canada internationally in the past, either at the junior or senior level. We’re hoping to equal our sixth-place finish from Korea, and continue to use this amazing event as a measuring tool.”