18-year-old Yuge “Ace” Zeng continues impressive season at George Brown Open
The Huskies aced another test this weekend as the badminton squad moves closer to provincial championships.
First-year student Yuge (Ace) Zeng delivered yet another strong performance at the Kim Ng Open tournament this past weekend at George Brown College to capture the men’s single title as well as winning mixed doubles with Yan Zhou.
The 18-year-old Zeng, who entered the tournament as the second seed, outlasted the University of Toronto’s Victor Chan in the finals to add another tournament win to his already impressive season. Zeng captured both singles and men’s doubles gold three weeks ago at Fanshawe and had little trouble at the St. James campus event, never being pushed to three games in any match until the showdown with the top-seeded Chan.
Despite similar results, the new Huskies standout said he felt better about his play at George Brown than at the Fanshawe outing, where he wasn’t at the top of his game due to the time out of classes from the strike.
“At that tournament, I played too relaxed and I didn’t play very well but this time we’re back to school and I had a lot of time to prepare,” Zeng said. “That’s why I played way better than at Fanshawe.”
Huskies head coach William Schram agreed that Zeng was not his best self at the Fanshawe tournament, but he still found a way to win.
“You can’t play your best every day and he was still able to pull it off and win,” Schram said. “(Saturday’s) victory was against a much stronger opponent and was a really exciting victory, so I’m very proud of him today.”
Zeng and Zhou defeated Cameron Lai and Boom Nilyok of Humber College to win the mixed doubles bracket. Zeng and Alex Chao finished third in the men’s doubles competition.
On the women’s side, Yunji Kim placed third in singles after dropping a tough three-game semi-final match to Xia Zhu. In the women’s doubles event, Kim partnered with Angeline Alviar to take home a silver.
Next up for Huskies is an Ontario College Athletics Association (OCAA) invitational at Centennial College Jan. 12-14.
All eyes are looking toward the OCAA Regional tournament as the road to the nationals continues.
“It’s nice to have that warm-up tournament and then going to regionals two weeks later,” said Schram. “The next step is preparing for those tournaments and picking our team moving forward for regionals.”