Following a hiatus of 9 years, The Canadian International Challenge badminton tournament took place in Markham in December 2022. The tournament is part of the BWF International Challenge series.

The first edition was held in 2008. The 2022 edition was the first to be held since 2013.

Michelle Li won ladies’ singles for the third time – 11 years after her maiden victory

Watch Michelle Li of Canada compete against Natsuki Nidaira of Japan.

Impressively, Michelle Li of Canada won the Canadian International Challenge for the third time. Her first win was in 2011. In the 2022 final, she outperformed Natsuki Nidaira of Japan in straight sets.

On her way to the final, Natsuki Nidaira overpowered second-seed Beiwen Zhang of the USA in three games.

First seed and local hero Michelle Li did not concede a single set in the tournament in Markham, Toronto and thus became a deserving winner of the 2022 Canadian International Challenge.

Canadian first-seed Brian Yang lost the men’s singles final

Watch the men’s singles final at the Canadian International Challenge 2022 in Canada

Local hopeful and first-seed, Brian Yang, made his way to the final. In the semifinal, Brian Yang faced young challenger Christo Popov of France. A match Brian won in three games.

In the final, Brian Yang lost in straight sets to Japan’s Takuma Obayashi. Takuma has been a bit of a challenge for young Brian Yang. The two have now faced each other a total of three times. Each time Takuma came out victorious.

The losing semifinalists were Christo Popov, France and Kai Schaefer, Germany.

Denmark’s new men’s doubles pair took the win in Canada

Men’s double final at Canadian International Challenge 2022. Denmark vs. Germany.

Seeded 3/4, Denmark’s (relatively) new men’s doubles pair took no prisoners on their way to winning the Canadian International Challenge 2022 title. Last week they won the Welsh International. The pair overcame solid resistance from a German pair in the quarterfinals but thrashed the first-seeded pair from Canada in straight sets in the semis.

In the final, the Danish pair faced Japan’s Kaneko/Shimono and won in straight games (21-17, 21-17).

With this win, Rasmus Kjær and Frederik Søgaard earned important ranking points and continue their move toward the top 32 on the BWF World Ranking table. They will move from position 56 on the ranking to around 48.

Spain vs. USA in the women’s doubles final in Canada

First seed Clara Azurmendi and Beatriz Corralez from Spain faced twin sisters Annie and Kerry Xu from the USA in the final. The Spanish pair won the first game 21-15, but after that, the American sisters from Bay Badminton Center took control winning the next two games and the match.

The losing semifinalists in women’s doubles were Canada’s Jackie Dent/Crystal Lai and Talia Ng/Wendy Zhang.

Denmark vs. Germany in the mixed-doubles final at Canadian International Challenge in Toronto

The final in the mixed-doubles category at Canadian International Challenge was a show-down between third seed Thyrri/Magelund of Denmark and unseeded German pair Voelker/Kuespert. Both pairs arrived at the final without conceding a single game.

The Danish pair ended up winning the final in straight sets. They became the second pair from Denmark to win a title at the Yonex Canadian International Challenge 2022.

Final word: congrats to the organizers and Badminton Canada

It is no easy feat to organize an International Challenge tournament. The organizers (Badminton Canada) did a good job. Also, the live streaming was executed well. The Canadian-style badminton commentary was an experience.
Judging from the player’s interest in the tournament, it seems that there is enough interest to make the Canadian International Challenge return again next year.

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